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House prices advance in August

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/09/2016 Tina Morrison

New Zealand house prices continued to advance in August, with both Auckland and the Nelson/Marlborough region hitting new records, as the number of properties put up for sale declines, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

The national median house price advanced 5.8 per cent to $492,000 in August from the same month a year earlier, the institute said. There were 7,527 sales in August, down 3 per cent on a year earlier, and the number of houses available for sale shrank by 18 per cent.

"The underlying trends indicate that the struggle for stock is the single biggest factor driving market behaviour and price expectations across the country, as we await spring listings," institute spokesman Bryan Thomson says.

"We have been highlighting the lack of inventory for some time, and it continues to be a major contributing factor in the volume of sales across all regions. This is particularly so in Auckland, where inventory levels are at historic lows."

One of the central bank's biggest concerns has been Auckland where a lack of housing coincided with a record net inflow of new migrants, pushing up prices faster than elsewhere. Wednesday's data show the median Auckland sale price jumped 14 per cent to a new record $842,500, while sales volumes were down by about 20 per cent at 2,413.

Prices also hit a new record in the Nelson/Marlborough region, gaining 12 per cent to $430,000.

Prices gained the most in Central Otago Lakes, up 41 per cent to $650,000, while volumes increased 27 per cent to 137, followed by the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region, rising 23 per cent to $435,000, and Manawatu/Wanganui where the price increased 15 per cent to $246,500.

In Wellington, the median price jumped 15 per cent to $461,000 as the volume increased 14 per cent to 765.

In the Canterbury/Westland region, prices lifted just 1.9 per cent to $420,000. In Taranaki, prices advanced 8.8 per cent to $310,000, as the volume gained 13 per cent to 188. For the Hawke's Bay region, prices advanced 12 per cent to $320,000. Meanwhile, prices in the Northland region rose 12 per cent to $362,000.

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