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House prices hit record in five regions

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/07/2016 Tina Morrison

New Zealand's national house prices rose again in June, as five regions hit record highs.

The median national sale price jumped 11 per cent to $500,000 in June from a year earlier, while the number of properties sold advanced 6 per cent to 7,864, according to the Real Estate Institute.

Compared with May, the median price slipped 1.2 per cent while the volume dropped 13 per cent, in line with seasonal trends heading into winter, the Institute said.

The housing market continues to strengthen, fuelled by record high migration and low interest rates, particularly in Auckland where the government and Reserve Bank have introduced measures to try to slow house price growth.

In the latest data, Auckland's annual price increase of 8.7 per cent lagged behind the national average.

"Although the onset of winter means that June is generally a quieter month for the real estate market, there has been no let-up in the rate of price increases across the country," said Institute spokesman Bryan Thomson.

"While Auckland continues to be the largest single region, its influence on the national picture is waning due to its own weaker sales and strong growth in sales in other regions."

Still, Auckland was one of the regions to hit a new record median price in the month, at $821,000, along with Waikato/Bay of Plenty ($438,000), Northland ($360,000), Central Otago Lakes ($730,050), and Otago ($295,000).

Nationwide, available properties for sale fell 40 per cent compared to June 2015, with Auckland, Wellington and Hawke's Bay the hardest hit.

The sale of million dollar homes increased by a third compared to June last year, while the proportion of sales of homes under $400,000 dropped 6.1 per cent.

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