Housing market prices hit new record high


The housing market continues to run hot, with a record national median price of $749,000 hit in November.

Generic houses in NZ - Pic taken in Chch June 2020

November was a stand-out month for the number of properties sold, says real estate agents.
Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The new figure is an 18.5 percent increase compared with the median price in November 2019 and a $24,000 increase on last month’s median price.

The Real Estate Institute’s (REINZ) House Price Index, which measures the changing value of property in the market also hit a new high, gaining 15.3 percent to 3,343.

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said November was a stand-out month for the number of properties sold.

“With just shy of 10,000 properties sold over 30 days. The last time we saw a similar level of sales volumes was back in March 2007 before the national recession and Global Financial Crisis started impacting New Zealand’s property market.”

She said this was likely driven by people wanting to purchase property before Christmas, the looming reinstatement of loan-to-value ratio restrictions and fears that prices would continue to rise.

The volume of properties sold was up 29.6 percent year-on-year, with the West Coast market well above the national average with year-on-year volumes sold up 74.4 percent.

Auckland, Northland, Canterbury, Bay of Plenty, Nelson and Waikato also saw strong volume increase.

As well as the national median hitting a record, eleven regions also saw new highs.

Tasman, Manawatu/Whanganui and Southland were the biggest gainers.

Norwell said the growth was clearly unsustainable.

“Since October 2011, we’ve seen successive annual increases in median house prices and the last 5 months have been double-digit increases. This just isn’t sustainable and with data out earlier this week showing that [thttps://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/432369/homeownership-rates-lowest-in-70-years-report home ownership is at its lowest level in 70 years] the gap between those that own and those that rent is just going to keep growing unless we can do something to start addressing the supply issue the country has.”

Properties also sold quicker in November, with median days to sell down by four days compared to November 2019 to 29 days. The quickest rate since March 2007.

Meanwhile, inventory levels remained stubbornly low with the total number of properties available down 16.9 percent year-on-year.

That equated to 3730 less properties on the market than this time last year.

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