Auckland property prices have surged by 20 per cent in the last year - an increase of $340 each day.

Figures released this morning by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) show Auckland's median house price hit $749,000 last month, a jump of $124,000 since May 2014.

The number of properties sold over the $1 million mark in Auckland last month was up 120 per cent on May last year (843 v 384).

Nationally, the median house price rose $30,000 (7 per cent) in the past 12 months to $460,000, an increase of $5000 or 1.1 per cent from April.


Nearly 8000 dwelling were sold last month, up 21.6 per cent on the same period last year and up 10.4 per cent compared to April.

Excluding the Auckland market, the national median price rose $9000 to $349,000 (+2.6 per cent) compared to May 2014 but down $4000 (-1.1 per cent) compared to April.

REINZ chief executive Colleen Milne said Auckland continued to dominate the real estate market in terms of price movements, with an annual increase of just under 20 per cent to May.

The Reserve Bank's recently announced LVR (Loan to Value Ratio) measures may have some slowing impact on the rate of price increase, but it would take some months for this to take effect. The inventory situation in Auckland remained very tight and the number of sales by auction continued at near record levels, she said.

"Agencies across the upper North Island, which includes Whangarei through to Bay of Plenty, are reporting increased interest in residential properties from Auckland investors.

"There are also reports from leading agencies that some Auckland retirees are relocating to areas such as Taupo and Keirkeri where they can get better value for their money and funds for retirement."

She said the Reserve Bank's introduction of a 30 per cent LVR for Auckland investment properties may have the effect of moving investors' attention from Auckland to the regions. Sales volume across Auckland were expected to increase if supply allowed, "with some buyers seeking to complete their purchases and obtain funding prior to the October 1st start of the new restrictions for Auckland".

Elsewhere in New Zealand, six regions recorded more than 20 per cent increases in sales last month compared to May last year, and a few showed strengthening prices.


"Regions such as Otago, Northland and Central Otago are all showing firm upward price trends, while Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Wellington and Hawkes Bay are showing some signs of firming prices. The prospect of more relaxed lending policies from the Reserve Bank will be heartening for first home buyers in these regions."

REINZ data shows 7989 unconditional residential sales occurred in May, a 21.6 per cent increase on May 2014 and a 10.4 per cent jump from April. On a seasonally adjusted basis the number of sales rose 4 per cent from April to May, indicating that May sales were stronger than what would normally be expected for this time of year.

Sales volumes excluding Auckland were up 8.1 per cent compared to April and 20.9 per cent compared to May 2014. On a seasonally adjusted basis, Auckland's sales volumes rose 2 per cent compared to April, indicating that sales volume growth was stronger outside of Auckland.

Auckland recorded the largest percentage increase in median price, both annually and month-on-month.

May-to-May growth was up 19.8 per cent for Auckland, followed by Southland at 15.5 per cent and Otago at 12.5 per cent. April to May 2015 growth for Auckland was 4 per cent, followed by Otago at 2.9 per cent and Southland at 2.5 per cent.

There were 1755 dwellings sold by auction nationally last month, 22 per cent of all sales and an increase of 614 on May 2014.

The 15,705 sales by auction in the 12 months to May represented 19.7 per cent of all home sales, compared to 20.3 per cent (15,440) for the year ending May 2014.

Transactions in Auckland again dominated the auction market last month, representing 77 per cent of the national total of auction sales - with 43 per cent of all dwelling sales in Auckland completed by auction in May, compared to 31 per cent in May 2014.

Across New Zealand the total value of residential sales, including sections, was $4.845 billion last month, compared to $4.238 billion in April and $3.553 billion in May 2014.

For the 12 months ended May 2015 the total value of residential sales was $45.037 billion, the largest ever value of sales in a 12 month period.

May Summary

• 7989 dwellings sold in New Zealand in May 2015, up 21.6% on May 2014 and 10.4% on April 2015

• A national median price of $460,000, up $30,000 (7.0%) on May 2014 and $5000 (1.1%) on April

• A rise in the national median price excluding Auckland of $9000 compared to May 2014, and a fall of $4000 compared to April

• A rise of 20% in Auckland's median price, from $625,000 in May 2014 to $749,000 in May 2015

• Seven regions, including Auckland, with sales volume growth of more than 20% compared to May 2014

• Comparing May 2015 to May 2014, the number of Auckland sales with a sales price of $1 million or more has increased by 120% (384 v 843)

- Source: REINZ
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