The residential property market remained buoyant in February, with the number of sales at a four year high and prices remaining firm.
According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, 6694 homes were sold in February, up 9.2% compared to February last year and the highest number of sales in the month of February since 2016.
The growth in sales was mainly driven by a surge in the Auckland market, where 1968 homes were sold, up 41.6% compared to February last year and the highest number of sales in the month of February since 2015, which was at the height of the last property boom.
For the rest of the country excluding Auckland, February sales were up a marginal 0.3% overall compared to February last year and there were significant regional differences.
Regions with significant increases in sales compared to February last year were Gisborne +35.7%, Tasman +17.5%, Hawke's Bay +11.9% and Bay of Plenty +11.7%.
Regions with significant declines in sales compared to February last year were Nelson -24.2%, Taranaki -20.7%, Southland -17.9% and West Coast -13.0%
"February saw mixed results across the country in terms of sales volumes, with some regions seeing their busiest February in a number of years and some seeing their quietest February in a number of years," REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said (see the interactive volumes sold chart below for the full regional trends).
Prices were also firm with the national median selling price hitting a new record of $640,000, with most of the price growth occurring outside of Auckland. The previous national record median high was $630,000 last November.
The median price for all regions combined but excluding Auckland, set a new high of $550,000 in February, while prices remained reasonably flat in Auckland.
Auckland's median price was $888,000 in February, up marginally from $885,000 in November and $886,000 in December but still below the peak of $900,000 set in March 2017.
That suggests prices in Auckland remain within their recent range, but are near the top of that range (see the interactive median price chart below for the full regional figures).
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