Residential prices rise despite challenging conditions


Median residential property prices across New Zealand have increased by 1.2 per cent year-on-year to $525,000 according to the latest data from the Real Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

Nationally, excluding Auckland, median prices increased 5.7 per cent year-on-year and Auckland median prices remained flat at $845,000.

However, on a month-on-month basis, Auckland’s median price increased by 1.2 per cent or by $10,000.

Contributing to the overall increase, six regions across the country experienced double-digit median price increases in September year-on-year:

  • Tasman (up 19.3 per cent to $572,500)
  • Hawke’s Bay (up 18.3 per cent to $392,000)
  • Gisborne (up 14.9 per cent to $270,000
  • Northland (up 14.4 per cent to $446,000)
  • Wellington (up 10.6 per cent to $531,000)
  • Southland (up 10 per cent to $220,000).

Only two regions experienced price decreases during September (compared to September 2016) – West Coast (down 15.6 per cent to $208,500) and Canterbury (down 3.2 per cent to $426,000).

Bindi Norwell, CEO at REINZ says: “Prices across the country increased in all but three regions, evidence that the market continues to grow despite some challenging conditions – including the LVR restrictions and banks continuing to tighten lending conditions.

“Much of the increase has been driven by the buoyancy in the regions.”

Soggy start 

The number of properties sold during September fell 26.2 per cent year-on-year (from 7,352 to 5,428) the lowest number of properties sold in the month of September for 6 years.

Nationally, excluding Auckland, volumes decreased by 23.7 per cent year-on-year.

Looking at the regional picture, again all 16 regions in the country experienced a decrease in the number of properties sold on a year-on-year basis.

Regions with the biggest reduction in volumes were Tasman (down 37 per cent), Southland (down 34 per cent) and Auckland (down 31.5 per cent).

Marlborough experienced the lowest number of sales since January 2012 (down 27.4 per cent).

The month-on-month figures provide a more positive picture, however, with a number of regions experiencing an increase in the number of sales in comparison to August, and two regions experienced double-digit growth – Gisborne (up 25 per cent) and Taranaki (up 11.4 per cent).

“The soggy start to spring combined with the ‘election effect’ has had a significant impact on the number of sales across the country – this is the lowest number of sales in eight months, and the lowest number of sales in the month of September for six years.

“However, it’s not all doom and gloom as there are pockets of the country experiencing increases month-on-month and median prices are increasing in the majority of regions across the country,” continues Norwell.

New high

The REINZ House Price Index for New Zealand increased 0.7 per cent month-on-month to reach an all-time high of 2,699 during September, indicating that the ratio of sales prices when compared to CVs is at its highest point since the Index began.

The HPI also showed that all but three regions (Auckland, Taranaki & Canterbury) reached a new high during September indicating strong value growth across most of the country.

Regions with the highest growth year-on-year include Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay (up 14.7 per cent to 2,283), Manawatu-Wanganui (up 12.8 per cent to 2,409), Wellington (up 11.8 per cent to 2,377) and Northland (up 11.7 per cent to 2,575).

Number of days to sell

The median number of days to sell a property nationally increased by 3 days (from 31 to 34) when compared to September 2016.

Regionally, Taranaki saw the biggest increase in the number of days to sell (up 8 days to 31), followed by Waikato and Otago (both up 5 days to 35 and 30 respectively) and Auckland and Canterbury (both up 3 days to 37 and 34 respectively).

Regions with the biggest decreases year-on-year included the West Coast (down 13 days to 105), Gisborne (down 3 to 28) and Hawke’s Bay and Nelson (both down 2 days to 28 and 23 days respectively).

Interestingly though, the median number of days to sell on a month-on-month basis, decreased for all regions bar the West Coast.


The number of properties sold by auction continues to decline across New Zealand with 807 auction sales in September – down 54.5 per cent on the same time last year.

Auctions now only represent 14.9 per cent of all sales nationally.

In Auckland, which traditionally sees a large portion of sales sold by auction, only 422 (26.5 per cent) of all properties sold in September were via auction – this is a decrease of 57 per cent in comparison to September 2016.

No regions saw an increase year-on-year in the number of properties auctioned,

However, month-on-month Gisborne, Manawatu-Wanganui, Otago, Southland, Taranaki and Waikato all saw an increase in auction numbers.

Price bands

Between September 2016 and September 2017, the number of homes sold fell in every price bracket.

The number of properties sold for more than $1million fell by 29.9 per cent from 1,020 to 715 to equal 13.2 per cent of all dwellings sold.

The number of dwellings sold for less than $500,000 fell by 27.5 per cent from 3,510 to 2,545 to equal 46.9 per cent of all homes sold across the country.


The number of properties available for sale nationally decreased by 2.6 per cent (from 22,311 to 21,727) compared to 12 months ago, whereas the number of properties for sale in the Auckland region increased by 14 per cent year-on-year (from 6,513 to 7,429).

Excluding Auckland, the number of properties for sale fell by 9.5 per cent (from 15,798 to 14,298) highlighting the impact Auckland has on the overall picture.

In addition to Auckland, three other regions experienced an increase in listings – Waikato (8.2 per cent), Wellington (2.8 per cent) and Canterbury (3.6 per cent).

The regions with the biggest decrease in inventory were Gisborne (29 per cent), Taranaki (24.3 per cent) and Manawatu-Wanganui (22.7 per cent).

Northland, Taranaki and West Coast have the lowest levels of inventory since records began 10 years ago.

Overall, the New Zealand housing market continues to remain in a “strong position”, Norwell concludes.

“While volumes are down, median house prices across the country have increased again.

As the weather warms up we expect the market to pick up again.”