The national median house price reached a new record of $389,000 in December with ongoing strong demand driving robust sales volume growth in the residential property market during 2012 with the number of sales up 21 per cent on 2011 and at the highest level since 2007.
Chief Executive of the Real Estate Institute NZ (REINZ), Helen O’Sullivan, says that despite the strong growth in sales volume, the number of sales compared to the total number of dwellings in New Zealand remains well below the long run average and substantially below the peak volume of 2003 when more than 120,000 residential properties were sold.
Data shows there were 5,754 unconditional residential sales in December, an increase of 438 sales (+8.2%) compared with the same time last year and a fall of 22.8% compared to November 2012. On a seasonally adjusted basis December’s sales were about in line with November. Eight regions recorded increases in sales volume compared to December last year, with Northland recording an increase of 37.2%, followed by Auckland with 18.7% and Central Otago Lakes with 18.4%. All regions recorded falls in sales volume in December compared to November – as is usual due to the short trading month. Auckland and Canterbury/Westland together accounted for slightly more than half of all properties sold in December.
The national median house price increased to a new record high of $389,000 in December, an increase of 1.5%. Canterbury/Westland’s median house price moved up 1.7% to a new record median price of $351,000, although Auckland’s median house price eased by $5,000 to $535,000, Nelson/Marlborough recorded the largest lift in prices for the month with an increase of 8.3%, followed by Central Otago Lakes 5.9%, and Taranaki with 5.4%. Compared to December 2011, Auckland recorded the highest lift in prices with an increase of 10.5%, followed by Canterbury/Westland with 8.0% and Northland with 6.3%.
Nationally there were 1,102 dwellings sold by auction in December representing 19.2% of all sales. For the 12 months to December the total number of auctions reached 11,950 or 16.1% of all sales. Over 2012 the number of Auctions grew by 68.3% with the rate of growth reaching 86.9% in the Auckland region and 33.2% for all other regions combined.
Transactions in Auckland again dominated the auction market in December, representing 73.6% of the national total of auction sales. 37.4% of all dwelling sales in Auckland were by this method in December. Auction sales in Waikato/Bay Of Plenty accounted for 7.9% of the national total, Canterbury/Westland accounted for 10.7%, and all other regions combined accounted for the remaining 7.8% of auction sales in December 2012.