June was a good month in the New Zealand property market, with sales up 17.3 per cent from the same month last year. Prices have continued their steady rise, up 3.3 per cent for the 12 months to June.


Real Estate Institute data released this morning shows 6,135 unconditional sales in June, up 906 from the same month last year. Sales were down 14.5 per cent from the month before, but seasonal variation account for much of this decline.


The national median house price rose by $3000 to $372,000, a new record high, rising $2000 above the previous high set in March this year. The national median house price is up 3.3 per cent compared to June last year, with Auckland maintaining the $500,000 record median set last month.


Sales in the Canterbury/Westland region were up almost 56 per cent, followed by Northland with 39.1 per cent and Hawkes Bay with 25.6 per cent.

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Auckland's sales volume increase over June 2011 was 15.7 per cent. Taranaki was the only region that recorded a fall in sales volume compared to June last year.


The REINZ Stratified House Price Index, which adjusts for some of the variations in mix that can impact on the median price, is 5.3 per cent higher than June 2011 and is now also at a new record high.


"Keen buyer interest in Auckland and Christchurch - which together make up about half of national activity - drove the New Zealand real estate market to new highs in June and a new record median price," said REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan.


"The overall pattern for the rest of New Zealand shows improvement in sales volumes, with prices on the whole steady rather than up," she said. "The constraint across the country appears to be shortage of properties available to meet buyer demand. This is most acute in Auckland, where new home building is still sluggish, and in Christchurch where the earthquake recovery is slowly getting under way."


Helen O'Sullivan cautioned that the apparent strength was still far from reaching the boom years of the mid to late 2000's.


"Buyers and sellers lost confidence during the global financial crisis and in that context the current the market should be seen as recovering rather than 'booming'." she said.