17 Jan 2017

Wellington house prices up 20 percent

12:44 pm on 17 January 2017

A short supply of houses for sale has driven up Wellington's home prices by more than 20 percent in a year.

Wellington houses.

Wellington led the regions for record house sale prices, with the median hitting $530,000 in December. Photo: PHOTO NZ

The median price of a home in the capital hit a record $530k in December - up 21 percent on the year earlier, latest Real Estate Institute (REINZ) figures show.

It was one of five New Zealand regions to have record high median sale prices in December, while the number of sales was flat or falling.

Sales volumes were down by more than 8 percent in Wellington on the year earlier, as the inventory of properties for sale in the region fell by nearly 28 percent to 623.

Nationally, the number of sales in December was down by more than 10 percent on the year earlier.

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Outside Auckland, the national median house prices hit a record $420,000 in December. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Auckland house prices drop to $840k

The national median price rose a seasonally adjusted 11.8 percent to $516,000 in December, compared with a year earlier, but was little changed from November's record $520,000.

Auckland prices fell 1.4 percent to $840,000 in December, from November, as the number of sales eased a seasonally adjusted 2 percent - down 14.5 percent over the year earlier.

"In Auckland, the long-term median price trend has been consistently rising, despite a slight easing compared to November 2016," REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said.

"The combination of fundamental factors, such as strong underlying population growth and a lack of supply in the market to meet Auckland's growing population, suggests that we may be unlikely to see much change to the upward trend in prices unless these fundamentals change."

Outside Auckland, national median house prices hit a record $420,000 in December.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of sales in December was little changed from November, at 6533, but down 10.4 percent on the year earlier.

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