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The wind is blowing again in the 'City of Sails', even though it may be too soon to claim a recovery.

House prices rise in 14 regions, and Auckland is on the up again
Published: September 2018

House prices continue to rise across New Zealand, REINZ revealed. According to the latest Monthly Property Report, all regions except two saw their median price increase in August – and the weather may have played a part in this.

Like to know which were the best performing areas, and how is the Auckland’s property market behaving? Read on for our monthly Housing Market Snapshot.

Top and bottom performers

  • "Above average temperatures for New Zealand in the final month of winter have had a positive impact on the real estate industry, with prices increasing in 14 out of 16 regions across the country," said Bindi Norwell, REINZ chief executive.

    The only exceptions were Canterbury and Southland. Canterbury’s median house price fell 0.5% year-on-year (to $425,000), while Southland’s fell 4% (now being $240,000).

    The national median price rose 3.6% year-on-year to $549,000 – or 6.2% excluding Auckland. Among the best performing regions were:

    • Gisborne: +42% to $335,000
    • Tasman: +24.2% to $615,000
    • Manawatu/Wanganui: +10.5% to $315,000
    • Hawke’s Bay: +9.9% to $445,000 (equal record with March 2018)
    • Waikato: +9.4% to $525,000 (equal record with June 2018)

    "The middle of the North Island and the top of the South Island continue to see strong prices achieved as low listing numbers continue to drive prices upwards in the popular areas," Norwell explained.

Annual Median Price Changes | Source: REINZ Monthly Property Report, 13 September 2018

Spring sprang early in Auckland

  • After six months of flat prices, the ‘City of Sails’ finally saw a change of pace in August, with its median house price rising 1.4% year-on-year to $852,000.

    However, REINZ figures show a mixed picture: while prices were on the way up in Manukau and Waitakere Cities (+10.1% and +5.1% YOY, respectively), the North Shore saw its median price drop 14.6% in the same period.

    "We see that properties under $650,000 are selling quickly, and anything priced $800,000 or under is also in strong demand depending on which suburb it is listed in," said Norwell, adding that location and school zones remain key factors.

    Norwell also highlighted that Auckland’s first-home buyers may be headed for a good spring – if more properties come to market. "Vendors are more pragmatic in negotiations, and if the offer is close, they are more likely to accept the offer, while investors still have higher expectations."

Fewer properties for sale, more properties sold

  • In terms of properties sold, only nine out of 16 regions saw an year-on-year increase – but that was enough to push New Zealand’s overall volumes up 3.1%. However, inventory levels have dropped, decreasing by 1.6%.

    "As we head into spring, we expect more listings to come to the market which will naturally result in more sales, so we may expect the overall numbers be even stronger in the coming months," said Norwell.

    The biggest annual increase in sales volumes was recorded in Southland (+23.8%), Taranaki (+23.3%) and Gisborne (+16.7%), while West Coast (-9.8%), Bay of Plenty (-6.2%) and Northland (-4.8%) saw the largest annual decrease.

For more information, download the REINZ Monthly Property Report here.

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