15 Jun 2021

House prices: National median jumps $200,000 in one year

10:52 am on 15 June 2021

House prices rose a quarter last month over the year before, with a shortage of inventory keeping prices up.

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The national median price rose a seasonally adjusted 25 percent in the year to May, REINZ figures show. Photo: 123rf

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) house price index, which measures the changing value of property in the market, increased nearly 30 percent year-on-year to a new high.

The national median price rose a seasonally adjusted 25 percent to $820,000 from $620,000 in May 2020.

"Median prices haven't significantly eased yet as many had hoped would be the case, and things are certainly not getting any more affordable for first time buyers," REINZ acting chief executive Wendy Alexander said.

Five out of 16 regions reached record median prices as did 18 districts.

Auckland's median house price rose 27 percent to a record $1.15 million from $905,000 last year.

Other regions with record prices were Taranaki with a 29 percent increase, Tasman at 21 percent and Canterbury at 27 percent.

Alexander said a lack of housing supply was continuing to push up prices, with fewer than 15,000 properties available for sale across the entire country.

"This is the second lowest level of total inventory we've seen since we began collecting records, and properties are still selling relatively quickly for this time of year which is when we usually start to see things slow down a bit," she said.

The number of residential properties sold in May was the highest number of properties sold in a May month for three years.

Gisborne was the only region with in an increase in the number of house for sale.

"While some of the regions are starting to show signs of prices easing, which will be welcome news for locals who are looking to buy, it's hard to know whether this is a direct result of the 23 March announcements or just the usual winter slowdown," she said, referring to changes to the government's housing policy.

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