Ongoing strong demand drove robust sales volume growth in the residential property market during November with the number of sales up 24.1 per cent on November 2011. The national median house price is at a new record of $383,250.
The Chief Executive of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), Helen O’Sullivan, says that despite a surge in new listings during spring, demand continues to outstrip supply in key markets such as Auckland.
“The activity in the Auckland market is now starting to see some spill over into other parts of the country, with increased buyer activity, although there are some remaining markets which are yet to see this effect. The lift in national sales volume to a five year high and the new record medians in Auckland and Otago is indicative of the real estate market gaining in confidence. Volumes remain well below the previous market highs set in the period from 2003 – 2006, indicating that tight supply remains the key factor behind increasing prices.”
“The Auckland market is increasingly characterised by the rise in the number of auctions, with sale by auction becoming the dominant method in some parts of the region. With over 38% of all sales in Auckland completed by auction, and more than one in five sales by auction across the country during November, we are seeing something of a change in the way both buyers and sellers are approaching the market. What we do know is that most properties that sell by auction sell for higher prices and faster than other properties. The market is responding to this. ”
REINZ data shows there were 7,454 unconditional residential sales in November, an increase of 1,446 sales (+24.1%) compared with the same time last year and an increase of 12.3% compared to October. On a seasonally adjusted basis November’s sales were 1.2% lower than October and 19.3% higher than November last year.
All regions recorded increases in sales volume compared to November last year, with Central Otago Lakes recording an increase of 45.9%, followed by Otago with 38.7% and Auckland with 28.9%. All regions, apart from Hawkes Bay, recorded increases in sales volume in November compared to October, with Otago recording a 36.6% increase followed by Manawatu/Wanganui with a 19.4% increase and Central Otago Lakes with an 18.1% increase.
The national median house price increased by $3,250 from $380,000 in October to $383,250 in November; an increase of 0.9%. Auckland’s median house price moved up 1.9% compared to October to a new record median price of $540,000. The national median house price is up 4.3% compared to November last year, while the Auckland median price is up 10.2% compared to October last year. Otago also recorded a new record median price of $258,000, up $18,000 (+7.5%) compared to October. Canterbury/Westland again reached its record median price of $345,000 last reached in August.
For the month of November, Northland recorded the highest lift in prices for the month with an increase of 10.8%, followed by Otago with 7.5%, and Hawkes Bay with 6.4%. Compared to November 2011, Auckland recorded the highest lift in prices with an increase of 10.2%, followed by Wellington with 5.7% and Central Otago Lakes with 4.9%.
New record median prices were recorded in November for New Zealand, Auckland and Otago in November, with Canterbury/Westland also hitting the record median price it last reached in August 2012.
The REINZ Stratified House Price Index, which adjusts for some of the variations in mix that can impact on the median price, is 7.3% higher than November 2011 and is at another record high. The House Price Indices for Auckland, Christchurch and Other South Island also set new record highs in November.
Days to sell
The national median days to sell eased by one day in November compared to October, from 32 to 33 days, with the number of days to sell also improving by two days compared to November 2011. For the month of November, Canterbury/Westland and Otago recorded the shortest days to sell at 28 days, followed by Auckland and Wellington with 30 days. Northland recorded the longest number of days to sell at 58 days, followed Central Otago Lakes with 49 days and Taranaki with 46 days. Over the past 10 years the median days to sell for the month of November has averaged 33 days across New Zealand.
Nationally there were 1,539 dwellings sold by auction in November representing 20.7% of all sales, up from 909 sales in November 2011 representing 15.1% of all sales. This is a new national record for the percentage of sales by auction and beats the previous high of 20.2% reached last month. Auction sales in Auckland also reached a new record with more than 38.8% of all sales in the region in November sold by auction, or more than 1,130 sales.
Transactions in Auckland again dominated the auction market, representing 73.7% of the national total of auction sales. 38.8% of all dwelling sales in Auckland were by this method in November; this was up strongly from the 27.0% of sales by auction in November 2011. Sales by auction in Waikato/Bay Of Plenty accounted for 10.3% of the national total, Canterbury/Westland accounted for 7.7% of the national total, and all other regions combined accounted for the remaining 8.3% of auction sales in November 2012.