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Median house price jumps in October

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/11/2016 Tina Morrison

<span style="font-size:13px;">Sales of higher value homes helped lift the median house price by more than 10 per cent in October, with a $50,000 increase from the same time last year.</span> © Getty Images Sales of higher value homes helped lift the median house price by more than 10 per cent in October, with a $50,000 increase from the same time last year. New Zealand's median house price increased 11 per cent in October, as tougher lending rules failed to dampen sales of higher value properties, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

The national median house price rose to $510,000 in October from $460,000 a year earlier, the institute said. The price weakened from the September median level of $515,000.

There were 6,727 national sales in October, down 14 per cent from a year earlier and 9 per cent lower than September.

Concern about New Zealand's bubbling housing market has prompted policymakers at the Reserve Bank to introduce tighter restrictions for highly-leveraged lending.

Monday's report shows stricter conditions around loan-to-value ratio lending is having a bigger impact on lower-priced properties, with sales of homes under $400,000 accounting for just 35 per cent of sales in October, from 41 per cent a year ago, while sales of properties over $1 million accounting for 15 per cent of the total, up from 10 per cent.

"Our data suggests that the impact of the revised LVR rules is having more of an effect on lower-priced sales compared to higher-priced sales, with a surge in the per centage of sales over $1 million and a noticeable decline in the number of sales below $400,000 compared to 12 months ago," said institute spokesman Bryan Thomson.

Prices hit a new record in Auckland, up 16 per cent to $868,000 from the year earlier. Other regions to hit new records were Northland, up 11 per cent to $399,000; Waikato/Bay of Plenty, up 21 per cent to $460,750; and Southland up 13 per cent to $225,000. Prices gained the most in Central Otago Lakes, up 42 per cent to $659,500.

The number of properties available for sale nationwide shrank by 24 per cent compared with October last year. Wellington has the fewest properties for sale with an estimated six weeks of supply.

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