The housing market remained robust in February, with the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand's House Price Index (HPI) showing a significant jump in prices in most parts of the country..
The HPI allows for differences in the composition of sales by property type from month to month, so is a more reliable indicator of overall movements in residential property prices than averages or medians, although the REINZ's median prices in February were also firm.
The HPI for the whole of New Zealand was up 3.1% in February compared to January, which means it's now 8.7% ahead of where it was 12 months ago.
The figures also suggest that the Auckland market has shaken off its recent lethargy, with the HPI for Auckland up 3.9% in February compared to January, while the HPI for the rest of the country excluding Auckland was up just 2.4%.
The strongest price gains in Auckland were in its two most expensive districts, the North Shore where the HPI was up 4.0% compared to January, and Auckland Central which includes upmarket suburbs such as Remuera, St Heliers, Parnell, Epsom, Mt Eden, Ponsonby, and Herne Bay, where the HPI was up 6.1% compared to January.
The price rise was more modest in the more affordable districts, with the HPI up 1.9% in Manukau in February, while Papakura was the only district in Auckland to record a decline with the HPI down just 0.1%.
There were also very strong price rises in Rotorua where the HPI was up 7.9% in February compared to January, and in Lower Hutt where it was up 6.1%.
Apart from Papakura, the only districts to records falls in the HPI in February compared to January were Porirua down 2.1%, and Upper Hutt down 0.7%. (See the HPI movements for all districts in the table below).
However the world's financial markets are changing rapidly and it would be naive to think that the property market will remain immune to a significant economic downturn.
It is still too early to say how badly it may be affected but for the time being at least, the current data suggests that while the share market may be feeling the ill-effects of coronavirus, the property market remains in rude good health.
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REINZ House Price Index - February 2020