Auckland property prices hit record high as upward trend continues around country

Source: 1News

Auckland's median house price hit a new record last month, as prices around the country also continue to rise.

Houses in Auckland (file picture).

New figures released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) today shows Auckland's median house price increased by almost 27 per cent from $905,000 in May last year to $1.148 million last month.

However, the super city isn't the only region seeing growth.

Median prices for residential property across New Zealand increased by more than 32 per cent from $620,000 to $820,000 over the past year - the highest annual percentage increase in house prices since records began.

"Median prices haven’t significantly eased yet as many had hoped would be the case, and things are certainly not getting any more affordable for first time buyers," acting chief executive at REINZ Wendy Alexander said.

"Looking at the overall picture, we're still seeing that the lack of total housing supply is continuing to push up house prices.

"In May, there were less than 15,000 properties available for sale across the entire country. This is the second lowest level of total inventory we've seen since we began collecting records, and properties are still selling relatively quickly for this time of year which is when we usually start to see things slow down a bit."

Taranaki's median house price saw an increase of more than 29 per cent from $426,000 in May last year to $550,000 last month.

Canterbury had an increase of 26.5 per cent from $460,000 to $582,000 for the same period.

Waikato saw an almost 22 per cent increase from $600,000 to $730,000, and the Tasman region saw a more than 21 per cent increase from $701,500 to $850,000 during the year to last month.

Meanwhile, Alexander said some regions are have shown signs of prices easing, but it is still unclear if it is due to measures to deter investors from the market or a usual winter slow down.

In March, the Government announced plans to abolish the tax deductibility of interest payments, expand the bright-line test on investor sales and increase financial assistance for first home buyers.

"Last month we saw the highest number of properties sold in a May month for three years with both investors and first home buyers still relatively active in the market despite the general increase in house prices," Alexander said.

"Looking forward, we would expect sales volumes to remain relatively stable over the winter months, however, if we don’t get more listings coming onto the market, it could be a very quiet winter indeed."