Auckland flat, three areas set records - REINZ

Auckland house prices only rose $24,500 or 3 per cent in the last year, compared to 2015's rocketing 24 per cent, while national house prices rose 10.4 per cent.

Real Estate Institute NZ (REINZ) data just out revealed the flat state of Auckland's market but also showed three regions had hit new highs.

"Regions seeing record median prices were Waikato (up 22.3 per cent year-on-year to $489,200), Wellington (up 18.8 per cent year-on-year to $537,000) and Otago (up 12.7 per cent to year-on-year to $381,000)," REINZ said in its statement.

But Auckland is heading in a different direction.

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"The median price across the Auckland region rose $24,500 (+3 per cent) year-on-year to $854,500, with prices rising 9 per cent in Auckland East and Auckland South, and 5 per cent in Auckland Central.

"The REINZ House Price Index indicates that activity is up in Auckland by 5.2 per cent over the past year (up 0.8 per cent over the past three months). Month-on-month activity nationwide was up 0.4 per cent, Auckland up 0.2 per cent and outside Auckland up 0.8 per cent, indicating a stable market.

"Sales volumes in the Auckland region fell 8 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to March.

"The number of days to sell was steady at 35 days compared to March. Over the past 10 years the average number of days to sell during April for Auckland has been 34 days.

"The number of properties for sale across Auckland has increased by 2468 (+39 per cent) while the number of properties available for sale continues to decline nationwide, with 1028 fewer houses for sale in April compared to 12 months ago," REINZ said.

The results come after Westpac NZ chief executive David McLean this week noted how the housing market was cooling faster than expected which could take pressure off bank funding costs.

"We're expecting price growth nationally to slow more than previously expected, to 3 or 4 per cent, or about half what we were previously forecasting," McLean said this week.

New Zealand's median house price is now $540,000, up from $489,000 and up 10.4 per cent year on year.

Other data out this month showed Auckland relatively flat.

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Quotable Value figures showed house values dropping in parts of Auckland and Christchurch in the past three months, remaining static nationally but rising in Wellington. Auckland values fell -0.4 per cent in the past three months and -2.6 per cent in Christchurch's Banks Peninsula area.

Nationally, there was a zero per cent change in house values, QV said.

North Shore coastal values fell -1.3 per cent, North Shore Onewa down -2.3 per cent and Manukau Central down -0.7 per cent. But the average value across the Wellington region has now topped $600,000, data showed, QV said.

Barfoot & Thompson, with more than 40 per cent of Auckland's residential market, had 4214 available listings at the end of April and sold 664 places last month for an average $917,079, down on March's average $968,570. Barfoot's median residential price also fell from $900,000 in March to $850,000 last month.

Loan-to-value ratios, investor appetite dropping and fewer Chinese buyers are factors said to be keeping the market relatively flat.

But low interest rates now look set to continue through to well into next year after Thursday's Reserve Bank official cash rate statement, and migration remains at record levels.

Last month, REINZ said Auckland house prices had bounced back.