Fewer properties on offer at Barfoot & Thompson's latest auctions but more than half were sold

Fewer properties on offer at Barfoot & Thompson's latest auctions but more than half were sold

Sales were achieved on more than half of the residential properties marketed for sale by auction by Barfoot & Thompson last week, although the overall number of homes passing through the auction rooms remains low.

Barfoots marketed 65 residential properties for sale by auction last week, down slightly on the 69-75 per week over the previous month.

However, sales were achieved on 36 of those, giving an overall sales rate of 55%, well up on other recent results.

Of the 36 properties that were sold, nine were sold prior to their auctions, 25 were sold under the hammer and two were sold in negotiations immediately after their auctions.

Significantly, the sales rates were above 60% at the big Manukau and North Shore auctions, although only a third were sold at the main Shortland St auction on August 7, where most of the properties offered were from central Auckland suburbs such as Greenlane, Mt Eden, St Heliers, Remuera, Grey Lynn and Herne Bay (see table below for the full breakdown).

Details of the individual properties offered are available on our Residential Auction Results page.

The comment stream on this story is now closed.

Barfoot & Thompson Residential Auction Results
5-11 August 2019
Date Venue Sold  Sold Post Sold Prior Not Sold Postponed Withdrawn Total % Sold
5-11 August On-site 2           2 100%
6 August Manukau 5   3 5     13 62%
6 August Shortland St 2     1     3 67%
7 August Shortland St 2 1 3 9 2 1 18 33%
7 August Pukekohe 1 1   2     4 50%
8 August North Shore 6   3 4 1   14 64%
8 August Shortland St 3     2     5 60%
9 August Shortland St 4     1 1   6 67%
Total All venues 25 2 9 24 4 1 65 55%

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Highlight new comments in the last hr(s).

But still only 25 properties sold !?!?!

36 were sold out of 65 = 55%

Need some more perspective here.
This is the same report from a year ago:

Some interesting points:
- Slight increase in the number of sales (36) vs 33 in pcp 2018 (although maybe someone can confirm because interest.co.nz has changed this table - is this 33 sold *at* auction or does it include 'sold post' & 'sold prior'? If it excludes sold post & prior then this latest result is ugly compared to last year, 25 vs 33)
- Number of auctions is down materially 65 vs 79 in pcp 2018 (a decrease of 18%). So whilst it might be 55% this week, the denominator is far smaller.

Going back another year to the same week in 2017:

Points to note:
- 41 sales in pcp 2017 (c.f. 36 this week. Again not sure if the 2017 number includes sales prior & post);
- 96 auctions in pcp 2017 (48% more than last week)

When I look at the NZ housing market crisis playing out I picture someone going down an escalator keeping up a ping pong ball with a bat. The housing market is the ball and the RBNZ the bat. No matter what the RBNZ try and do with rate cuts, etc, to keep the housing market up, that ball is always going down!

Interesting how selling prices used to be relevant a year ago but not anymore, is there a reason for that?

Prices are always relevant, I'm just trying to contexturalise these volumes rather than look at them in isolation.

Nine were sold prior to Auction. To be sold prior it has to be withdrawn from 'for sale by Auction', therefore they are not part of the auction stats.

Also to be sold prior it hints that this pre auction offer was going to be the best or only offer they were expecting. After all one of the supposed benefits of going to auction is to get multiple bidders so to achieve the best if not better price than would have been achieved by selling prior without the competition between buyers.

The 9 sold prior must be part of the 65 total though, if I read the table correctly - is that what you're questioning?

If you look at the table the bottom row sums to 65.
So each column, including sold prior, is included in the total.

That maybe true, but what I was highlighting is that by regulation, a prior offer to the auction date must either be communicated to all interested parties by bringing forward the Auction to allow all interested parties to participate, or the auction has to be withdrawn in total, so you can negotiate one on one in a standard open market. That is, you are not allowed to act as though you won't sell, as advertised, by a certain date, and then do so under the guise of an Auction.. After all that is meant to be the benefit of auction, ie competing bidders all bidding at the same time (date of auction).

If they are withdrawn from auction to be sold prior, which I am sure they are, then they cannot be included in the Auction stats.

Some strengthening of the housing market now seems apparent.

Indications are such that a lift in house prices over the 12 months cannot be dismissed.

Nonetheless, my position remains that there won't be a significant increase in house prices until 2021 at the earliest.

Wait and see......



Why is 55% of houses sold significant for "strenthening"? Because it's higher than 30%?

I work with analytics for a living and I'm always interested in how people interpret data and statistics.


I am sort of a data professional too and am afraid TTP's misinterpretation goes to show how the majority misread data with thick blinders on.

Releases from REA companies and optimistic commentary from banks are intended to rekindles FOMO in gullible FHBs and investors to jump aboard the debt train to delinquency.

Hi J.C. & Advisor,

My view above is based on a gamut of factors, including all-important bank lending rates and the potential loosening of LVR’s.

Sales volumes are in the mix - but hardly the most important factor.

Thus, I don’t dismiss Westpac’s analysis / position, which is completely legitimate....... But neither am I drawing any hard and fast conclusions.


OK. So you're talking free and easy like a patron at the bar of the bowling club.....or alternatively trolling.

Hi J.C.

Sorry my friend - but I don’t drink, play bowls or live under a bridge.

Further, note that my basic position has remained unchanged for almost two years.


OK. So you're talking about your "basic position in the past 2 years", not the auction data. And you're not a troll.

Its really sad to see a bunch of people making it personal and purposely misinterpreting comments.
He clearly states his view, that its evident some strength has returned to the market is based on bank rates, improved sales data, both this article 'auction data' but also probably the 'volumes up in July' article and likely more, the RBNZ comments on LVR's and lastly the Westpac analysis.
He then moves on to state: "Further, note that my basic position has remained unchanged for almost two years."
For you to say: "OK. So you're talking about your "basic position in the past 2 years", not the auction data. And you're not a troll." is literally trolling: "Trolling on-line forums as described above is actually analogous to the fishing technique of “trolling”, where colorful baits and lures are pulled behind a slow moving boat".
So grats, you trolled me in to replying.

Huh? It was a simple question:

Why is 55% of houses sold significant for "strenthening"? Because it's higher than 30%?

And not answered in any meaningful context.

What is it with you and trolls? That is at least the second time I have seen you make the accusation since levelling it at me recently. Why are someone elses comments or opinions any less genuine than your own?

Be positive. If most people interpreted data and statisitics correctly you would be out of a job. Similarly I was an IT professional for 45 years - if all computer software was as accurate as say a car being manufactured or a bridge being built then I would have been unemployed - 90% of IT is politely called maintenence. The employed should thank God for creating the dumb.

Just realised that mainly illiterate workers built NZ houses 150 years ago and some are still standing and the remainder were knocked down to build modern apartments built with the aid of the latest computer aided design. Which ones leak?

Illiterate doesn't mean stupid. Just as educated doesn't mean smart. If the experienced builders and the new wave of technical graduates had compared notes we might just have avoided the entire debacle.

My wife's mother was totally illiterate, a village woman who couln't even write her name. Her seven children were successful: diplomat, teacher, surveyor, city planner, computer manager, journalist and senior bank official. They all respected her and gave her the responsibility to look after most of the over 40 grandchildren until they were school age.

Lucky ol' her.

I agree with you. For the majority, sentiments and instincts drive decisions; the dataset is simply to justify those decisions in a certain manner.

A live example of this behaviour is the report that consumer sentiments in Australia have bounced back up 3.6% month-on-month.
I fail to see a single piece of optimistic data coming out of the Aussie economy with wages down, job creation slower than population growth, service and construction sectors down in the dumps, household debt at an all-time high, house prices starting to climb out of reach yet again - but the consumer has spoken.

Boom Time ?


Vendors with realistic price should be able to sell. Earlier 2 Bed / 3 Bed units were holding the price (Am checking Manukau Auction) but now even that level started to take a hit - Domino effect taking place.

Still High end properties should take a hit as even though the interest rate is low (It Helps) but hard for million $$ property without foreign money/money laundering.

Hi alittle,

Who, other than you, is suggesting it's "Boom Time"???


Read Full and understand

..a very large pop makes a boom sound.

Agree that now all level of houses are taking a hit. It has spread through out now and not just limited to million dollar house.

With unoffical money, money laundering and foreign buyers ban...it will be interesting to see how many FHB on NZ wages can afford a decent house in Auckland.

Interest has written several articles that FHB share as buyers has increased since the FBB came into effect

Yeah but how many are buying million dollar plus house as most good house in Auckland are $900000 / Million plus so when they fall, rest will follow (Imagine what will happen to 1.2/1.5 Million Plus houses as FHB definitely cannot afford it and now with no foreign unofficial money (Many a times), who will buy and for what as CG is gone.

Economy and logic.

It is only a low interest rate that is delaying the speed of the fall (Not The fall) but cannot avoid the ………………………

So you think house prices are going to fall?

Definitely by how much - Is Wait and Watch.

It has already fallen from peak but still a way to go and whenever market falls, it does not fall overnight (Unlike when going up is fast) but over a period specially when interest rates are low.

At this high level unless some one wants to park unofficial money (Money Laundering), will be less keen to enter except FHB (Who cannot afford Million dollar house or even $900000) and genuine Investors (Who in absence of CG may be more interested in area where have good rental income compare to Auckland). Unless speculators play an active role, I do not foresee market going up now or in near future and what happened in NZ was not because of local speculators (Though later on, they joined the party) but was for Foreign Buyers and unofficial off shore money looking to be parked in safe heaven (All those who are in power are and were aware but vested interest prevented them for putting a stop to it).

For FHB buyer looking for a home for a long period, anytime is a good time to buy (Again if they wait may be in near future have a possibility to get more for their deposit as now do not see any urgency).

I think house prices will rise

In Auckland ? Right now ??

"For FHB buyer looking for a home for a long period, anytime is a good time to buy"
Almost totally agree with this richard

"(Again if they wait may be in near future have a possibility to get more for their deposit as now do not see any urgency)."
Yes maybe but if in a position to buy right now then research and negotiate well if possible. More likely to get a better deal from an existing house than buying new. Dont buy homes with intrinsic problems like monoclad and leaky

Just looked through the auction results and Wow someone, apparently an overseas owner made a HUGE LOSS with an Auckland apartment. 1312/2 Beach Rd, Auckland central. The apartment sold for just $84k it's Rating Value was $810,000.
Can't beat those dodgy Estate Agents, part of their sales pitch was "Don't be shy to bring your credit card or your cheque book but probably don't bother your bank manager".

Ah, that one was the fatal combination of leaky and leasehold.

Yes there seems to be a lot of that going on, I'm surprised that anyone would be willing to take the risk of buying an apartment over here. Also noticed the other day, that the other near by apartment blocks in Princes Wharf Quay build was having its roof worked on. Guessing they're leaking too.

Let's all remain blissfully unaware of the recently published RBNZ technical data relating to DTI, and the overwhelming need to cut the OCR by a third.

Indeed. Lots of effort going to discussing and reporting DTI. One wonders whether the RB will being it in as a forced measure at some stage.

I would imagine they see it as a necessary step to ensure they can at some future point raise interest rates without causing a crisis with many highly leveraged borrowers.

In that regard I would have thought it's just a question of how soon the multiple is introduced. Remember too that Orr has stated he wishes to increase Tier 1 capital to 16%. This has implications for borrowers too ~ margins have to grow significantly for the bank to retain its ROE.

Glitzy , you raised a significant issue previously regarding the RBNZ DTI data and the relationship between stock and flow of mortgages. The RBNZ is now reliant on existing and high DTI mortgages being serviceable premised on the recent capitulation in mortgage rates, whereas the overriding concern should be how the mortgages originated in the first place, whether brokers or the banks were primarily responsible, and why did the RBNZ delay in providing the data. .

I wouldn't hold your breath. ASIC just lost its case in Aus against Westpac...and Westpac had already plead guilty!

Do you know on what grounds they lost their case? Sounds interesting.

The crux of it appears to be that while there is a legal requirement for the banks to ask borrowers about the state of their finances, and make an assessment of their ability to repay, it doesn't necessarily follow that they have to use the declared living expenses when making that assessment.

The example given by the judge was "I may eat Wagyu beef every day, washed down with the finest shiraz but, if I really want my new home, I can make do on much more modest fare."

Nine properties selling prior to the auction is a significant number.

Nine greater fools you mean. Perhaps they were told "Don't be shy to bring your credit card or your cheque book but probably don't bother your bank manager". By the selling Real Estate Agents.

It seems ridiculous that we're still trying to preserve the 2017 peak prices when we all know that they massively overinflated by foreign buyers.

Or 9 smart people who know they bought well perhaps?

In a obviously declining property market I doubt it. Even the Real Estate Agents are having to get a lot more competitive to make a sale. Noticed that one RE Agency has really go all out to cut up the competition. Arizto are offering to sell property at a fixed price at what works out to about 1% commission from their Auckland office. I love their handy RE fee calculator that show the exorbitant commission fees that the other REA are charging: https://www.arizto.co.nz/

Nine properties selling prior to the auction is a significant number.

Explicit trolling.

Yeah, it's the spruiker equivalent of a "drive-by" in the comments section.

Should I have expanded on it a little? 65 properties marketed and 9 had acceptable pre-auction offers and went to auction early, close to 14%. I haven't been keeping track of these figures but it seems unusually high. It's open to interpretation as to what it means. If your definition of "trolling" is seeking the punters opinion on this, yes, then guilty as charged. Does it mean vendors are more realistic or that buyers are still finding that other buyers are quite competitive? The high uptake indicates to me that vendors at this time are attracted to the old 'bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' axiom indicating less than optimal confidence. Generally the strategy favours the buyer.

Quick question - are pre-auction offers always unconditional?

I believe the terms and conditions are exactly the same as if the auction proceeded as it was originally planned. It's interesting to research what "experts" think about pre-auction offers.

Should I have expanded on it a little? 65 properties marketed and 9 had acceptable pre-auction offers and went to auction early, close to 14%.

Are you talking about statistical significance or your own subjective use of the word? If it's the former, explain the statistical significance and put to bed any notion that you're trolling.

Relax JC, 9 properties sold prior to auction out of 65 listed is a lot, simple

9 properties sold prior to auction out of 65 listed is a lot, simple

OK. Is that because you say so or because of some kind of statistical benchmarking? If 3 out of 18 sold before going to auction, is that "a lot" too? How about 4 out of 22?

OK, so you're saying if 9 houses are selling prior to auctions instead of 3 or 4, that means the market is strengthening. What about 6,7, or 8? 6 is twice as much as 3.

Is this"statistically significant"?

It depends what you mean by market. I'd say it is an indicator that a well presented property in a good location is worth taking to auction for realistic vendors. The chances of a sale are very high. There are some very keen buyers out there.

Wonderful reply ZS, I'm sure JC will now admit that 9 out of 65 is a lot… or will he? Maybe he'll just move the goal posts and keep arguing for argument's sake

By my way of thinking, it's more significant because we are looking not just at the total amount of auctions, but the number of sales. I.e. it's 14% of the total auctions, but 25% of the sales.

OMG why are any of you rowing about 9 measly houses sold at one measly auction? It's statistically significant to nothing. Not worth rowing over.

One auction? Nine auctions!

Zach don't take it personally, J.C has a 'thing' about trolls, probably a phobia about walking over bridges? If you are lucky you will get the patronizing acknowledgement that you may in fact be genuine subject to his/her discretion.

Indeed Merrydaze it is an odd thing to claim especially in the auction results pages where we chew over the limited data presented and have a lot of fun. It should be assumed that most comments are merely opinions and if directly related to the article are not "explicitly trolling". It would be a bit cumbersome to always preface a comment with a disclaimer declaring it to be largely a baseless opinion formed by implicit bias. I guess J.C. has an issue with the word significant and wants it used in a purely technical way. When I say significant I mean significant to me or interesting to me. It could be significant in the sense that the market appears fairly normal. I didn't elaborate on which way it was significant. I feel the comment can't really be trolling if it directly relates to remarkable numbers presented in the article.

Does J.C. call out the doom and gloomers in a similar way when they claim this or that number signifies the beginning of a new Dark Age? Almost every comments stream must be triggering for J.C.

If a property sells before an auction, is it an auction. ?

Yes there is still an auction with an auctioneer. The offer simply sets the reserve and bidding starts from there. The idea is to knock out other bidders by not letting them have enough time to get their finances in order. So when you think about it, is that really a good strategy for the vendor?

May be vendors were realistic and took the first best offer instead of being greedy.

Good to see that Millennials are able to come up with innovative ways to get around the global housing bubbles. For any of you that are very worried about your kids future ability to get on to the housing market in expensive cities, take a look at this: https://www.livingbiginatinyhouse.com/

Worth seeing - Our Urban Tiny House In New Zealand: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvGXer4NsEw

Looks fun if you fancy living like a gypsy while you're young. Terrible investment though, unless you own the land too. Good on this guy for saving for land.


@Due Diligence. Just regarding your Forbs video; Remember most people are building these homes so the can live not as an investment, something that finical advisors don't like since they allow people to live debt free quite quickly. So Forbs outlook on tiny homes will try to place negative spin. They don't look at the main advantages; such as allowing people to save up more easily, than being entrenched in long term debt that they can never hope to pay off. Plus some of these homes are not that little but they are still mobile and can move when faced with the threat of a natural disaster such as bush fire. Take a look at this one for example that would put a lot of Auckland homes to shame, still less than $90k. Ultra Modern Tiny House: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFNdIup9kS0

Very nice, good option if you're embarking on it for the right reasons.

The dead cat is in the middle of its bounce. It's not a flat surface bounce either. The cat has hit a ledge 100 foot below the top of Yosemite's El Capitan. The poor thing has got a looooong way to go yet. If you are invested in this crazy housing bubble you really need to heed this warning and escape it now. There is nothing on the horizon to save you. The fraudulant foreign money has left the building.

Actually the fraudulent money is still parked in a house near you at the moment but his mates can't buy.

When this dude and others already here pull out from the local market you are going to see a tsunami of selling and few people with the cash to buy.

El Capitan indeed.

It's unlikely to fall much further with interest rates so low and yields on houses bought in 2016 and before now better than term deposits. This will set the absolute bottom.

In the Nile

In de Nile ?

As we saw with the recent high success rates of commercial property so we are starting to see it with residential. Ultimately yields plus some inflation are what blows the ponzie theory out of the water.


ZS, commercial property is a different beast entirely and since it's a completely different market to residential property I can't see how you can draw any conclusion from one market to the other.

I'd agree with you commercial will rise while rates are cut until retail slows down and then rents will also be crushed so the valuations will tank.

If low interest rates make for better rental yields, then investors may very well create a floor under house prices. I mean, that is what happens in property markets worldwide, so it shouldn't be so readily dismissed. However, the caveat to that is, if there is a credit crunch and investors can't borrow for whatever reason, then the pool of investors will shrink. In NZ it will shrink massively because NZ investors are heavily indebted and they will become the first group that banks withdraw funds from. Obviously, that's only likely to happen in an actual recession or banks are repricing risk in a panic.

GN, the assumption that you've made about IR creating a floor is sound ~ providing the market trades relative to disposable income.

What has happened since the flood of mainly Chinese money came to Auckland is that this relationship uncoupled. Specifically valuations have been driven by the price the marginal oseas cash buyer was willing to pay. And this is the reason prices circa doubled from 2012 to late 2016/mid 2017.

If you want to see where a floor should be then if you look at 2012 prices and adjust them for wage inflation, consumer price inflation (I.e. Price rises) and rate cuts you get around 45% below where they were at the peak.

So whilst it's a nice theoretical argument, if you look at Auckland it's not particularly applicable at current prices, we will have to wait for more considerable price drops before this floor might kick in.

Also we should consider things usually overshoot before settling at fair value so probably a 45% fall from peak may overshoot in the event of a significant exogenous shock.

V good. Indeed sales in Auckland did peak 2012 after prev peak in 2003-4

"probably a 45% fall from peak"

Sweet dreams tonight glitzy

And that is why you can't take his posts seriously

Yeah whatever Drivel.

Anybody else noticing today that text messages and FB adverts are showing price reductions in new builds in and around Auckland ?

Hobsonville Point reduced starting prices from 680k to 625k. And that's without any negotiation.

Not such good news for existing home owners in those areas.

Yep and Real Estate Agents are getting more competitive, some are dropping their sales commission fee to 1% or less to make a sale.

Fake ads, obviously. House prices never go down!

Its all the foreign agents I feel sorry for. The ones who have came in and got so many more sales than anybody else (see Homes.co.nz). Just by being from the same country as the buyers they have effectively wiped out local agents and gained enormous wealth for themselves. This country has to be a contender for the 'mug of the year' award.

I don't think I will shed a tear for them.

The person who sold it to that foreign buyer (through a foreign agent) made bank though, so I guess locals assisted to our poor REA's demise.

Rear view mirror. Look at what's coming down the road in front of you.

I think Fred Dagg summed up the RE sales process beautifully https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=die5eWFp2Gc

Fewer for sale more sol? Sum seems same?

What is of even more interest is the fact that mortgagee sales have increased. 32 are listed on a Trademe plus several more on other sites. Many of the properties are nice affordable homes so it extraordinary that they have got to advertising them when it takes many months to organise a mortgagee sale. During the GFC mortgagee sales were around 100 a month. We are one third of the way already.

BD, do you know roughly how long it takes a bank to go through the process here in NZ and which other sites are advertising the sales?

Thus far I've only been focused on Barfoots but I'm sure some banks use other agents.

Not sure if any banks are marketing directly (* this was what I was seeing and bidding on in Hong Kong during the GFC and post the Asia Financial Crisis).

Thanks for the advice.

"Property trader Geoff Castles, of South Auckland Properties, agrees "you don't often get a bargain at a mortgagee sale"

Glitzy - I used to sell mortgagee sales during the GFC, in Arizona. I don't know how helpful this perspective will be, but I expect there will be some similarities. The process there typically takes many months, with the large upfront piece of course being mortgagor defaults. The bank would provide default notices to the owner with opportunities to remedy the default, plus costs (legal, court and admin fees). If the owner did not remedy the default the home would be sold at a mortgagee sale, but the bank would buy it back in court (effectively just a technicality handled in court). Anyone could bid at the sale but this is virtually unheard of. The bank would then list the property with an approved real estate agent and the home would go to market as is. Inspections and contingencies for loans etc are all permitted.

As the crisis unfolded and mortgagee sales increased, the process did evolve quite a bit and become more efficient. Of course in that location, at one point over 60% of sales were either repos (bank foreclosures) or short sales (where the bank does not foreclose but agrees with the mortgagor to accept less than the amount owed on the property).

I'd say it's unlikely to unfold here in quite the same way, as the lending environment is a little different. The process of foreclosing in the US is quite drawn out, but usually as soon as the owner defaults the bank is getting preferred local agents to run a market analysis and price the home. I was one of those agents so have some insight into what the bank is trying to achieve. Of course as the volume of repos increased, the bank became more focused on rapid disposal of the asset.

When the first repos started to appear (and I mean in higher quantity than usual), banks were pricing a bit too high. Their internal valuation mechanisms weren't too good, so properties sat on the market. Then the new homes started to undercut them (overbuilding and discounting - which we are seeing in Auckland). As the new homes drove down the market, it made it harder for owners to sell at the value they needed to pay back their loan. Once values were below the deposit thresholds, sellers could not sell, but their rates reset, so they could not pay their mortgages. At this point mortgagee sales skyrocketed, and with increased volume in the market, prices declined further. Eventually even those borrowers who had put down 30% or more were upside down. Repos were setting the market and it was basically impossible to sell a regular resale home because buyers were just looking for fire sale prices. Interestingly the volume of sales stayed pretty good, it was just the prices that were in the basement. Most repos sold under multiple offers - up to 20 for some very aggressively-priced homes. Usually they sold for higher than the list price. But since I could buy a 3 year old 2000sm home for USD80K at one point, that doesnt mean much!

Really ugly mess. Huge transference of wealth. I had some buyers adding tens of properties to their portfolios. Be interested to see how the current glut of new homes in Auckland interacts with a blip such as an increase in unemployment or small rise in rates. When you're leveraged to the hilt it doesn't take much to make a mortgage a noose around your neck.

BD, thanks very much for the insight. You are absolutely correct that as soon as volume becomes an issue the bank has no choice but to undercut the market to achieve a sale.

What I'm seeing in Auckland is similar to your observations ~ that the banks are currently over valuing assets. I've seen a few now that went to tender but remained unsold.

Also seeing very small volumes in new build areas. These areas therefore now have the existing builders and some banks competing with existing home owners for a sale.

And this is just the start.

"And this is just the start."

Can you feel it coming?

From stuff:
"The number of houses sold in Waikato has leapt into the top three with Auckland and Canterbury - ahead of the Wellington region.

The latest data from REINZ for the month of July show 634 houses sold in Waikato compared to 597 in the capital.

REINZ regional director for Waikato Neville Falconer said the region remains buoyant with strong demand for good quality homes, particularly in the lower price brackets, with a 3.1 per cent median price increase to $530,000.

Hamilton City recorded a record median house price of $590,000, an increase of 11.8 per cent for the year. Waitomo District shows a 28.2 increase and South Waikato a 23.2 per cent increase.

"There are still large numbers of people moving from other major cities into the Waikato Region because of employment opportunities, which has likely contributed to the increase in median prices in some areas of region,"  Falconer said."