The housing market remained reasonably buoyant in December, especially outside of Auckland according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.
Throughout the country 7313 homes were sold in December which was down 9.1% compared to November but up 3.5% compared to December 2014.
But Auckland went against the trend, with just 2225 homes selling in December which was down 11.5% compared to November and down a whopping 18.6% compared with December 2014.
It was the third consecutive month that the number of sales in Auckland has declined (see chart below), suggesting the market there is definitely quietening.
The downturn in sales numbers was particularly severe on the North Shore, where they were down 27.8% compared to December 2014, and in Manukau where they were down 26.7% compared to a year earlier.
There was also a sharp decline in the number of Auckland properties being sold at auction, with just 705 going under the hammer in December compared with 1073 in December 2014.
However REINZ chief executive Colleen Milne said the decline in Auckland sales was probably transitory as investors adjusted to new, higher LVR restrictions on mortgages that apply to investment properties in Auckland.
Prices held up well, with the national median selling price of $465,000 being up 1.2% compared to November and up 3.3% compared to December 2014.
However the biggest growth in prices is now coming from outside of Auckland.
The median prices for all homes outside of Auckland hit an all time high for the fourth consecutive month in a row, coming in at $379,000 in December which was up 8% for the year.
In Auckland the median selling price was $770,000 in December, up 0.7% compared to November and up 13.6% for the year.
New record median prices were also set in Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough and Otago.
In Wellington December's median price of $436,000 was up 5.1% compared to December 2014 while sales volumes were up 18.4%.
In Canterbury/Westland December's median price of $421,150 was up 5.3% compared to December 2014 but sales volumes were virtually unchanged from a year earlier.
To read the REINZ's full report for December with prices and sales volumes for all regions, click on the following link: