The property market continued to boil hotter at the end of last year, as house prices reached new records and sales volumes topped five-year highs.
Latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows the national median house price reached a new record of $389,000 in December, up almost 10 per cent from the previous year.
All regions recorded falls in sales volume during December, as is normal during the shortened trading month.
But 74,000 houses were sold over the course of the year, marking a 21 per cent rise from 2011 and the highest annual total since 2007.
Despite the strong growth in sales volume, the number of sales relative to total dwellings remained below the long-run average and well behind the 2003 peak, when more than 120,000 properties were sold.
REINZ chief executive Helen O’Sullivan said the Auckland and Canterbury/Westland regions were the key drivers last year, accounting for more than half the country’s real estate activity.
The strength of these two regions is starting to spill over into other parts of the country with Central Otago Lakes and Wellington both seeing more invigorated markets, particularly in terms of sales volumes.”
Sales by auction went through the roof in 2012, growing by 87 per cent in Auckland and by one third across the rest of the country.
O’Sullivan said the trend was evidence of the ongoing tightness in some parts of market where demand was increasing, but supply remained constrained.
While the national median house price increased by $5750 in December, prices in Auckland eased by almost the same amount.
Gareth Morgan, who lives the good life having made made tax free millions himself, wants everyone else to invest in anything except property ( preferably in KiwiSaver which he promotes).
“January’s North & South magazine is headed “Is the Housing Market Rigged”? The article goes into depth on the resurgent property market and whether the take-off in prices is like constructing castles of sand”