18 Apr 2023

National median house price falls 12.9% from a year ago

11:25 am on 18 April 2023
Christchurch based housing

Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The tougher economic climate is continuing to dampen the housing market, with annual prices falling further.

The Real Estate Institute's (REINZ) house price index for March, which measures the changing value of residential properties, fell 13.1 percent from a year ago.

The seasonally adjusted national median house price fell 12.9 percent during the period to $775,000.

Auckland's median price fell 16.6 percent from a year ago, to $1 million.

However, activity in March was higher than the previous month, with houses taking 45 days to sell, down 15 days from February but nine days longer than a year ago.

The number of property sales fell 21 percent from a year ago, but increased 0.7 percent compared to February.

"There are clear signs that we are in the lower phase of the cycle, but with nearly 6000 properties sold, vendors who are motivated to sell are meeting the market with more realistic expectations on time frame and price," REINZ chief executive Jen Baird said.

"Those who need to sell are still selling."

Baird said inventory levels were returning to the long-term average, which meant buyers faced less competition.

"REINZ members tell us first home buyers are actively returning in the regions with the advantage of choice as investors remain absent."

The housing market is likely to remain in its current climate in the near-term, she said.

"The market is likely to remain in this phase as New Zealanders wait for the peak of inflation, a settling in interest rates and some clarity around the possible outcome of the election.

"That said, with the number of listings continuing to ease, we may start to see the supply/demand balance change in some areas," Baird said.

Seasonally adjusted annual median price changes in selected regions

    [Ll] Auckland $1 million - down 16.6 percent

    [Ll] Waikato $739,000 - down 12.3 percent

    [Ll] Bay of Plenty $820,000 - down 11.8 percent

    [Ll] Wellington $750,000 - down 20.5 percent

    [Ll] Canterbury $680,000 - down 2.4 percent

    [Ll] Otago $665,000 - down 9.5 percent

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