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ACT leader first up on state of nation

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/01/2017
He is expected to address the issue of housing, including housing affordability in his speech. © Shane Wenzlick/Getty Images He is expected to address the issue of housing, including housing affordability in his speech.

The political year is kicking off with ACT New Zealand leader David Seymour delivering a state of the nation address on Monday.

His lunchtime speech in Auckland is expected to address the issue of housing, including housing affordability.

The cost of housing is expected to be a major issue in this year's election.

The national median house price fell to $516,000 in December from $520,000 in November, the Real Estate Institute said last week.

The median price rose 11 per cent from December 2015.

The median price in Auckland fell 1.4 per cent in December from November to $840,000 but was up 9.1 per cent from a year earlier.

Wellington recorded the biggest year-on-year gain in median price, up 22 per cent to $530,175. Among other regions to hit record highs in December, Northland's median price rose 14 per cent to $410,000, Hawke's Bay climbed 11 per cent to $345,000, Otago gained 10 per cent to $310,000 and Southland jumped 15 per cent to $235,000.

Record migration and low interest rates have bolstered the country's housing market, prompting the central bank to tighten up lending rules to reduce the risk to the nation's financial stability.

The number of homes sold for more than $1 million rose by 12 per cent to 848 in December from a year earlier.

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