Median house prices are at their highest over the past 10 years for the month of October, figures released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) reveal today.
The national median of $355,000 is up nearly 6 percent on the corresponding figure ($335,000) for October 2008 and also up $5,000 on the median price for September 2009.
Institute President, Peter McDonald, says the steady return of property values is a positive sign, confirming property as the very best investment.
Around the country, median values have risen in seven out of 12 districts compared with October 2008 prices. The largest gains were Wellington, significantly up by 12.46 percent to $415,000, followed by Canterbury / Westland up 6.16 percent to $310,000 and Auckland up 5.08 percent to $455,000. The two largest drops in property values were at either end of the country: Northland, down 7.73 percent to $310,000 and Southland down 8.94 percent to $180,750.
“The rises aren’t, in most cases, dramatic, but slow and steady over the past few months as confidence returns to the market,” Mr McDonald says. “For the first time we are over the peak of prices in 2007 which is a very reassuring milestone.”
Another positive picture of the market, Mr McDonald says, is painted by the numbers of days properties took to sell as reported in the October figures.
The national median for days to sell in October was 31 compared with 33 in September 2009 and the much more sluggish 47 days in the corresponding period a year ago. Sales were particularly brisk in Wellington at 27 days and Canterbury / Westland and Otago where the median days to sell was just 28 days. At 59, Central Otago Lakes was the slowest market with houses in Northland and Waikato / BOP taking 44 and 45 days to sell respectively.
“The national median of 31 days again compares favourably with the October 2007 figure which was 34 days to sell,” Mr McDonald says.
The third measure of the market – turnover of houses – was disappointingly down in October to 6,091 properties compared with 6,464 in September, but still well over the 4,469 sold in October 2008.
The total value of house sales in New Zealand in October was $2,628 million, which was down on the $2,837 million recorded last month because of fewer sales.
Auckland sales accounted for $1,143 of total sales in October. Wellington and Canterbury / Westland were the next greatest value at $342m and $354m respectively with Waikato / BOP close behind at $298m.
Sales distribution showed a dip in houses in the upper price brackets with the number of houses in the $1m and over category at 175. This compares with 216 in September 2009. Similarly, there was a fall in the number of houses sold in the $600,000 - $999,999 range, down from 754 in September 2009 to 711 in October 2009.
The number of houses under $400,000 dropped slightly at 3623 in October compared with 3897 in September; while those in the $400,000 - $599,999 range were steady on 1582 in October compared with 1597 in September.
“I believe the market will firm even further with the better economic news we’re hearing more and more frequently,” Mr McDonald says.
Residential Market Report - October 2009.pdf
Residential Market Statistics - October 2009.pdf