Buyers have returned in force to Auckland's housing market where median prices rose $46,000 in just a month, according to the city's biggest agency Barfoot & Thompson.

October's $845,000 median shot to $891,000 last month and the agency noted how that was up 5.8 per cent for the past three months.

Sales volumes for November were at their second-highest level this year, from January's slow 653 deals through to February's 474, hitting 963 in March when the weather was hot but then falling during the winter. By August they were back to 745, October 824 and last month 960 sales were recorded.

"Committed buyers have returned to the Auckland residential property market," said agency director Kiri Barfoot.

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The agency has around 40 per cent of all residential sales in Auckland.

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Monthly price increases of this size were last seen when the market was at its strongest in 2016 through to the early part of 2017, the agency said.

The declining pool of properties on the market was contributing to price rises.

Last month, the agency listed 1517 new properties, its lowest number in a November for 11 years.

At month-end, it had 3703 properties on its books, about a quarter lower than at the same time last year.

Barfoot & Thompson sold 44 properties for more than $2m and 322 for between $1m and $2m in November. It sold 103 places for under $500,000.

Late last month, Auckland Council's chief economist David Norman said the city's housing affordability has improved 26 per cent since mid-2015.

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The Auckland Economic Quarterly, released on November 28, showed that the market had benefited from regulatory and structural changes including the Unitary Plan and its zoning rule changes, a surge in industry capacity, ongoing economic strength, income growth and low unemployment.

Mayor Phil Goff said a record 14,634 new dwellings were consented in the year to September. The council estimated 14,000 new dwellings were needed annually to keep up with current growth.

one roof

Yesterday, the Real Estate Institute warned house buyers that on Friday, new contract rules would come into force.

People who want to withdraw from a housing deal due to being declined finance will from the end of this week have to prove they are unable to get the money.

Bindi Norwell, Real Estate Institute chief executive, said the latest or 10th edition of the REINZ/ADLS Agreement for Sale and Purchase had a new clause for consumers withdrawing from a purchase offer.

That becomes effective on Friday.

Now, if a finance condition is inserted but money can't be obtained, people's word is generally enough for them to pull out of a contract.