House prices across NZ rise by 25.5%

Despite a fall in sales, the latest Covid-19 lockdown has done little to slow New Zealand's property market as prices soar. 

Aerial view of houses in Devonport Source:

In the latest data released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, residential property sales plummetted by 26.5 per cent in August, down from 7828 homes sold in August 2020.

However the national median house price rose by 25.5 per cent to $850,000.

REINZ Chief Executive Jen Baird said the flow-on effect of lockdown was to be expected. 

"While this is largely down to restrictions that were put in place from a lockdown perspective, New Zealand continues to have record low levels of inventory; meaning fewer properties available to buy." 

Areas outside the Auckland region fared the worst, with house sales in August decreasing by 33.7 per cent compared to last year.

That's compared to a drop of 12.8 per cent for Auckland. 

Nelson and Southland recorded their steepest fall since records began, with half the number of homes for sale in Nelson compared to the year prior and 46.8 per cent less home sales in Southland. 

That lack of listings has helped to further drive up New Zealand's house prices, with the REINZ House Prince Index, which measures the change in property value in the market, increasing by 31.1 per cent year-on-year. 

It's a new record high, the biggest annual percentage increase of the HPI since its records began. 

"This lockdown has not dampened demand for, or confidence in, the housing market as we saw in early 2020," Baird said. 

The national median house price also rose by 25.5 per cent, seasonally adjusted, over the past 12 months to $850,000. 

While Auckland hit a record median house price for August of $1.2 million, up 26.4 per cent compared to August 2020. 

Rodney, Manuaku City, Waitakere City, Franklin and Papakura were the biggest districts in the city for growth.