Real Estate Institute figures point to a gradual recovery in the housing market, which is likely to continue over the coming year, ASB economists say.
There were 6,008 unconditional house sales over November, up 17% from the same month a year ago and up 20% from October, the REINZ reported on Friday afternoon.
On top of this, the national median house sale price hit a new record in November, up by NZ$8,500 from October to NZ$367,500. This was up from a previous record high of NZ$365,000 recorded in March.
Auckland had the largest increase in sales volumes in November from the year before at 26.7% growth, followed by Northland (+25.9%) and Waikato/Bay of Plenty (+21.5), the REINZ said. Only two regions recorded falls compared with November 2010, with Otago down 2.7% and Wellington down 1.9%, it said.
In addition to the national median house price reaching a new record level, the Auckland median house price also reached a new record of NZ$490,000 in November, exceeding the previous record high of NZ$479,500 reached in April 2011.
"The REINZ Housing Price Index for Auckland is now at the same level that it reached at the peak of the market in July 2007, although most other markets tracked by the REINZ Housing Price Index remain below the peak. Of note in Auckland has been the rapid increase in the number of properties being sold at auction with almost 27% of unconditional sales in November being sold at auction, an all time high for the region," the REINZ said.
The figures come after Quotable Value reported yesterday that Auckland house values hit a new peak in November. See Gareth Vaughan's article here.
ASB economists said the figures pointed to a gradual recovery in the housing market, which they expect would continue into next year. Further house price rises would be modest, they said.
"Nationwide turnover increased 6.2% by our seasonally-adjusted estimates, and was driven by a 14.8% increase in housing turnover in Canterbury. There has been volatility in Canterbury housing turnover since late 2010, reflecting the many disruptions in the wake of the earthquakes," ASB economists said.
Government and insurance payouts would support a continued recovery in house sales in the region as households relocate over the coming year.
"Against this backdrop of higher housing turnover, the median number of days taken to sell a house dipped slightly in November. Recent housing inventory data have pointed to continued supply constraints in the housing market, and this is underpinning a recovery in house prices with the stratified measure of prices increasing 2.6% over the past year," they said.
The stratafied measure, which was developed with the help of the Reserve Bank, rose 1.1% from October. It is now 2.3% below its November 2007 peak.
Led by higher priced houses
See the proportion of sales in lower, middle and upper price ranges in our interactive chart below:
(Updates with ASB comments, Auckland figures)