Auckland house values have just topped a record $1 million, putting the city's housing stock even further out of the reach of thousands of first home buyers.
The QV House Price Index out at midday showed Auckland region average values stood at $1,013,632 in August, up 15.9 per cent compared to the previous year and 6.1 per year during the last three months.
High house prices, particularly in Auckland, have long been of deep concern to the Reserve Bank and others, having the potential to cause wide economic distress, particularly if interest rates rise. However, the market shows little sign of declining and spring could see a further surge.
• Auckland's QV House Price Index average value now $1,013,632
• Up from $992,207 last month
• Hamilton values now $518,387, up 29.3% year on year
• Tauranga values now $557,640, up 26.3% year on year
• Wellington values now $536,065, up 17.6%
Last month, QV said Auckland average values stood at $992,207. Precisely when the magic million-dollar mark would be reached has long been the subject of speculation.
Prime Minister John Key said three times in the last three years that first-home buyers should look to apartments. On Friday, he cited young people buying in Sydney and Melbourne, indicating they did not look for buy stand-alone houses but apartments.
Andrea Rush, QV national spokesperson, said despite the new record value, loan to value restrictions coming in on October 1 were already having an effect.
"We can confirm that the QV House Price Index average value for the Auckland region has now topped one million dollars following a strong quarter with values rising 6.1 per cent over the past three months.
"There was a strong surge of activity in June and July however it now appears the new LVR restrictions for investors adopted by banks towards the end of July have started to have an impact in the housing markets in Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton during August.
"In recent weeks there has been a drop off in market valuation requests, auction clearance rates, open home attendees and loan application rates in these centres," Rush said.
Barfoot & Thompson data out yesterday showed Auckland house listings surged in August but sales volumes dropped. Barfoot's median sale price stood at $850,000 last month, up from $840,000.
Watch: Making sense of property data:
Hamilton values now stand at $518,387, up 29.3 per cent year on year, QV said. Tauranga values now $557,640, up 26.3 per cent year on year and Wellington values now $536,065, up 17.6 per cent.
Figures from Harcourts and the Real Estate Institute are due out in the next few days, giving further insights.