10 Aug 2016

Median NZ house price reaches $505k

10:29 am on 10 August 2016

New Zealand's median house price has nudged through the $500,000 barrier as the number of houses available for sale is down by a third.

Sold sign outside a house in East Auckland

The median house price has gone up but the rate of annual price growth has slowed. Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

Real Estate Institute (NZREI) seasonally adjusted figures show the national median house price rose to $505,000 in July - an increase of $5000 (1 percent) on the month before.

But the national annual growth rate has slowed to 9 percent, from 11 percent in June.

NZREI director Bryan Thomson said prices were being driven by a lack of stock available for sale, which was 33 percent lower than a year ago.

"The lack of inventory in many parts of the country is maintaining high levels of buyer competitiveness and that shows no signs of changing unless we see a new flush of listings coming to the market in the spring."

A number of regions had record prices in July, including Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Northland.

Mr Thomson said it was too early to say whether the tighter lending rules set to be imposed by the Reserve Bank next month have had any effect on behaviour.

"I think if there's any effect it will be when the spring listings come and we may see some effect in the next four to eight weeks."

The RBNZ intends to force banks to reduce low deposit loans from 1 September. From then, most property investors will have to have a minimum 40 percent deposit and owner occupiers at least 20 percent deposit to get mortgages.