13 Oct 2020

Housing market continues to hit record highs

9:57 am on 13 October 2020

House prices for nine regions have hit new highs in September, bringing the national median house price to a record $685,000.

Aerial view of New Zealand houses at Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Photo: 123RF

The Real Estate Institute NZ House Price Index, which measures the changing value of property in the market, increased 11.1 percent year-on-year to 3145 - a new high - and the first time the index for New Zealand has gone over the 3100 mark.

Gisborne, Taranaki, Otago, Bay of Plenty, Manawatu/Whanganui, Wellington, Waikato, Canterbury and Auckland all reached new median price records.

"Normally one month out from an election, people start to take a wait and see approach and sales volumes begin easing off. However, 2020 appears to continue in its trend of being an anomaly, with the number of properties sold the highest in 42 months."

The number of properties sold in a September month was the highest in 14 years.

"At this point in time there are no signs on the horizon pointing to a change in the next few months, so it will be interesting to see if things slow down in October as the election actually happens or whether sales volumes just continue rising."

She said low interest rates, relaxed restrictions and high confidence in the market was driving the surge, alongside a lack of supply.

"These sort of price increases have continued to defy even the most bullish of market commentators, but with no uplift in the total pool of properties available for sale, at this point it looks as if prices will continue to rise as we head toward Christmas."

Days to sell were also an indicator of the heat in the market - nationwide properties took 32 days to sell - four days quicker than in August.

Once again inventory levels were at their lowest on record.

The total number of properties available for sale nationally decreased by 17 percent year-on-year.

Regions with the largest percentage decrease in total inventory levels were Taranaki, Marlborough and Northland.

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