The housing market continues to surge, according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

The median house price for New Zealand rose 6.9 per cent in February to $530,000 up from $496,000 in February 2017.

The median house price for New Zealand excluding Auckland rose even higher, seeing an 8.4 per cent increase to $450,000 from the same time last year.

Prices in Auckland increased at a more moderate 3.7 per cent to $858,000 from the same time last year (up from $827,000) and were up 4.6 per cent month-on-month.

The biggest median increase was in Hawke's Bay, which grew 18.4 per cent to a record high of $444,000, up from $375,000 last year.


"Median house prices increased in 14 out of 16 regions across New Zealand during February 2018 compared to February 2017, including a record high in the Hawke's Bay," said REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell.

"The only regions not to experience an increase were the West Coast and Gisborne which saw decreases of 10.7 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively."

Norwell said prices in Hawke's Bay had increased by an average of $26,000 since the end of the 2017.

"Clearly, the region is proving extremely popular. Additionally, the recent announcement by the Regional Economic Development Minister, Shane Jones, that nearly $9 million will be spent to reopen the Wairoa-Napier line for logging trains will bring significant development for the Hawke's Bay region," she said.

There was also strong momentum in sales volumes, with the number of properties sold across New Zealand increasing by 1.2 per cent year-on-year to 6,373.

The number of properties sold in Auckland rose by 2 per cent to 1600.

The biggest lift in sales count was the West Coast, which was up 50 per cent, from 30 to 45 sales.

"In February, 9 out of 16 regions saw an increase in the number of properties sold, pointing to strong regional growth in the majority of the country," said Norwell.


"Nelson saw the highest number of properties sold in nearly 11 years and the West Coast saw the highest number of properties sold in just under six years – so there have been some really strong localised results."

Houses are, however, taking four days longer to sell, with the median number of days to sell increasing from 40 to 44 days.

Auckland saw the median days to sell a property increase by six days to 49 - the highest number of days it has taken to sell a property in Auckland for nine years.

Regions with the biggest increase were West Coast (21 more days to 105), Marlborough (12 more days to 49), Manawatu/Wanganui (eight more days to 40), Canterbury (7 more days to 50) and Otago (7 more days to 42).

Three regions saw a decrease in the number of days to sell year-on-year; Gisborne (11 fewer days to 46), Hawke's Bay (five fewer days to 29) and Southland (three fewer days to 36).

Between February 2017 and February 2018, the number of homes sold for less than $500,000 across New Zealand fell from 50.2 per cent of the market (3163 properties) to 46 per cent of the market (2930 properties).

At the upper end of the market, the percentage of $1 million plus properties sold increased from 11.4 per cent of the market to 13 per cent of the market.

The latest figures come at a time when a derelict century-old home is on the market with an RV of $2.5m.

They also coincide with the release of Mike Pero Mortgage data showing that up to 90 per cent of first-home buyers under the age of 30 are relying on loans their parents to purchase properties.

Speaking to the Herald, economist Shamubeel Eaqub said the divide between the property haves and have-nots had been happening for a while.

He pointed to the last Census in 2013 which showed just over half of adults were renting and home ownership levels were falling across all age-groups.

"This divide is going to multiply. Only those people with parents with property are able to access it because they are trading in the same pool."