A lack of new builds and falling interest rates will likely put pressure on property prices in Northland, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand says.

The REINZ latest property report, for August, shows that despite a slight drop in the number of properties sold last month compared with August last year the median price was 7.1 per cent higher.

In August last year, 187 properties were sold but that figure fell to 178 last month.

The median price rose from $420,000 to $450,000 year-on-year, although it was down from the July 2018 value of $481,000.


The current average number of days to sell at 48 days is considerably less than the 10-year average for August of 63 days.


REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said a fall in the property stock and the number of days to sell were not a concern because the trend was typical in winter.

The rising median house price in Northland would continue in future, Norwell said, unless more houses are built and people keep buying properties amid falling interest rates.

"For those wanting to buy under KiwiBuild, ASB has announced it will loan up to 95 per cent in some cases so that is great news. When we look at the fundamentals, we see there's a lack of supply so new build is so important," Norwell said.

"Also, the listings in Northland last month was up 9.3 per cent compared with August last year, which is good heading into summer. That means people have more choices," she said.

OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said the drop in listings over winter in Northland would have contributed to the lift in sale prices, year-on-year.

Vaughan said well-presented and well-located properties would benefit most from low stock volumes, and would lead to multiple offers in some cases.


Regions with the largest annual decrease in sales volumes were West Coast (-9.8 per cent), Bay of Plenty (-6.2 per cent) and Northland (-4.8 per cent).

Last month 110 properties were sold in Whangārei, 57 in the Far North and 11 in Kaipara.

The number of houses sold nationwide during August increased by 3.1 per cent, or an additional 188 properties, when compared with the same time last year (from 6028 to 6216).