"In recent months the trend had been a gradual decline in the rate at which prices were increasing but this stalled in November with the rate of increase edging up," Thompson said today.
Rather than seeing this as the start of a new cycle of higher increases, it is more likely to be a consequence of the abnormally high number of homes we sold in the higher price categories, he said.
"Of the homes we sold, 960 or 81.2 per cent of sales were for more than $1m and of the 960, 216 were for more than $2m."
November has recorded the highest number of $2m+ homes. Last January, only 72 places in this price band were sold, and in September, just 57. But numbers claimed in October when 107 were sold and November at 216 sales in this category.
The average price for November was $1,250,886, up 5.2 per cent on that for October and 18.5 per cent higher than at this time last year.
The same movement was seen for the median price, which at $1,240,000, was up 7.8 per cent on October's and 27.3 per cent higher than this time last year, Thompson said.
Sales over $750,000 were also at high volumes in November at 1063 sales, compared to January's 834 and August's 820 sales in that price band.
Sales over $1m were 960 last month, up on January's 531 and October's 560.
Similarly, sales over $500,000 were 1095 last month, up on September's 599 sales and October's 735.
Sales for the month at 1182 were the highest since the Covid lockdown was introduced but were still a quarter down on those for November last year, which was not restricted by lockdown regulations, he noted.
A feature of the month's trading was the growth in the number of new listings: at 2724 for the month, it was a third higher than last month and 16.7 per cent higher than in November last year.
Auckland's house sales market was now close to returning to a more normal supply and demand situation, after the lockdowns.
ASB Bank economists yesterday forecast house prices to fall nationally next year.
"We now expect small falls in house prices over the second half of 2022. Given the perils of house price forecasting, the cumulative forecast fall of around 4 per cent should be interpreted more as a hat-tip to the risk profile than a precise point forecast.
"It's also tiny in the grand scheme of the 35-40 per cent surge in house prices since March 2020," the economists said.
Rising mortgage interest rates and tighter credit controls will take their toll on prices, they forecast yesterday.
"We reckon NZ's housing shortage has been reduced by around a third over the past year. And, if recent trends continue, we could see the market back in a rough state of balance late next year. This gradual abatement of market tightness will help reduce the upward pressure on house prices over coming months," the economists forecast.