Median house prices dropped in most parts of the country in December, including hot spots like Auckland, Queenstown and Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Median house prices dropped in most parts of the country in December, including hot spots like Auckland, Queenstown and Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The median price of homes sold in Auckland dropped back for the second month in a row in December, according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

Auckland's median price was $840,000 in December, down from $851,944 in November and $868,000 in October.

The number of homes sold in Auckland in December was also well down on a year ago, with just 1873 Auckland homes selling in December compared with 2225 in December 2015, making for a dismal start to the usually buoyant summer selling season.

The median price and sales volumes were also down in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region, with the median price dropping to $460,000 in December from $470,000 in November, while just 1103 homes were sold in December compared with 1426 in December 2015 (-22.7%).

The median price also dropped in Taranaki (-2.1%), Manawatu/Wanganui (-3.3%), Nelson/Marlborough (-2.2%) and Canterbury/Westland (-0.5%).

The only regions to record median prices rises in December were Northland (+2.6%) , Wellington (+6%), Central Otago/Lakes (+2.2%), Otago (+3.3%) and Southland (+3.1%).

The median price was unchanged in Hawke's Bay.

Nationally the median price for the whole of the country dropped back to $516,000 from its all time high of $520,000 in November.

There were 6533 homes sold throughout the country in December, down 11% compared to December 2015.

Within the Auckland region, the biggest fall in the median price occurred on the North Shore where it dropped 6% compared to November, followed by Outer Auckland (Pukekohe/Franklin) -3%, Manukau -3%, Waitakere -2.6%, Central Auckland -2.2% and Rodney -2.1%.

Within the Waikato/Bay of Plenty the biggest drop in the median price was in Rotorua where it declined by 9.9% compared to November, followed by Mt Maunganui/Papamoa -8.4% and Hamilton -0.4%, while the median price in Tauranga was up 1.7%.

Although the median price for the Wellington region was up 6% in December compared to November, the gains were confined to Lower Hutt +4.7%, Central Wellington +3.3% and Southern Wellington +7.5%, while median prices declined in Upper Hutt -2.9%, Northern Wellington -8.1%, Eastern Wellington -3.5%, Western Wellington -9.6% and Pukerua Bay/Tawa -8.3%.

In Canterbury, the median price was down 2.1% compared to November in Christchurch, and down a whopping 12.1% in Timaru and -7.4% in South Canterbury but up strongly in Rangiora +16.9% and North Canterbury +17.9%.

And although the median price in Central Otago/Lakes was up 2.2% in December compared to November, it was down 10% in Queenstown.

"We expect to see activity remain subdued heading into 2017, especially in Auckland where prices are most stretched," ASB economist Kim Mundy said in Quickview newsletter on the figures.

The interactive chart below shows the median price trends in all regions or click on the following link for the REINZ's full regional report for December.

PDF iconREINZ Residential Regional Commentary - December 2016.pdf

Median price - REINZ

Select chart tabs »

The 'NZ total' chart will be drawn here.
NZ total
Source: REINZ
The 'Northland' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Auckland' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Waikato' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Bay of Plenty' chart will be drawn here.
Bay of Plenty
Source: REINZ
The 'Gisborne' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Hawke's Bay' chart will be drawn here.
Hawke's Bay
Source: REINZ
The 'Manawatu' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Taranaki' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Wellington' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Tasman' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Nelson' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Marlborough' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'West Coast' chart will be drawn here.
West Coast
Source: REINZ
The 'Canterbury' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Otago' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Southland' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Good , a slow reversion back to normal price levels is welcome , lets hope that there are no sudden shocks that send the market tumbling


thats want we all want and need a slow leaking back to sensible buying pricing so the average NZ can own their own home

Temporary blip like last year and it will continue with family home owners forced to sit on the market until February when it rises again and old stock sells suddenly suprising the experts and detractors.

House price rises are supported by massive immigration and internal migration to Auckland.
I apologise for repeating the obvious facts but it is not headline news material so is not popular I understand this completely.


Ted forgets to tell us just how many Aucklanders are selling up and leaving for better pastures. Everywhere you go over NZ you meet them and they are very happy with a better home where they have shifted and money in the bank. Talk to those who are still there and they generally say they would love to leave.

Pop into Hawkes bay - a lot of ex Aucklanders there - mostly building new houses on newly available lifestyle blocks or buying in Havelock North etc etc. Actually, I was surprised how busy Hawkes bay is. Some agents tell me they're buying a home and a few rentals with cash from the sale of their home in Auckland - not sure if true of course.

China is going to buy up Auckland after Chinese new year 28 Jan to Feb 3.

Five bedroom houses 300sqm in Albany or Flatbush is what Chinese desire.

You quote high immigration to support your idea that house prices are heading skywards again but that is all old news and was built into price expectations long ago. Unless the immigration stays at that level then prices will soften and there are all sorts of reasons why 70k immigrants are a peak..... (Not least that National will be trying to get back in for another term while Winston is biting at their heels).

that and a lot of those coming in are future tenants not home owners, taking low paying jobs is not going to led to buying a house

They are not forced to sit on anything. If the meet the market/buyers then I'm sure they can sell. Greed isn't the fault of anyone but themselves.

Goodonya Ted ..... someone has to keep the Auckland "property ponzi scheme" going.
You are doing a fine job.... keep spinning those "lines"........ the more you spin, the more we know that this "market" is coming to the end of the line ....

Massive internal migration is OUT of auckland. You'll see this in next census results

Graph is from 2000 to 2012 and adjusted for inflation. There seems little point explaining to some here what this graph means. People like Zachary for example have yet to learn when price high you sell not sit in the hell hole Auckland has become. Bet the hospitals are all overflowing with new migrants like the schools and the roads and the beaches and parks. John Key of course escapes to Hawaii etc.
How long do you think it will be before even more people wish to escape Auckland and its mass immigration experiment of the National Party ?

And a nominal stagnation would be much worse this time around. At least back then there were some cash flow positive properties around. These days, most houses sold in Auckland for probably the last 3+ years have been cash flow negative. Another 12 year stagnation would be a long time to feed an investment money...

Is there any way to compare this data against the QVs of the properties sold? I know QV counts for bugger all, but at least it gives an indication if prices are really falling, or if there is just a lot of low quality homes being sold that is dragging the figures down.

The drop in Mt Maunganui/Papamoa is certainly significant.

I haven't done this for a while. Here is the latest QV Median Home Value for Auckland top 20 suburbs as at 1st Jan 2017 :
1 Herne Bay $2,443,900.00
2 St Marys Bay $2,271,450.00
3 Remuera $1,996,750.00
4 Stanley Point $1,907,550.00
5 Epsom $1,862,750.00
6 Westmere $1,851,750.00
7 Campbells B $1,845,600.00
8 Mission Bay $1,769,950.00
9 Orakei $1,743,100.00
10 Kohimarama $1,739,200.00
11 St Heliers $1,725,350.00
12 Ponsonby $1,725,100.00
13 Glendowie $1,680,350.00
14 Takapuna $1,677,000.00
15 Devonport $1,661,100.00
16 Castor Bay $1,642,000.00
17 Mellons Bay $1,603,650.00
18 Parnell $1,559,700.00
19 Narrow Neck $1,508,400.00
20 Murrays Bay $1,486,350.00

Still crazy numbers eh? If these numbers halved over the next few years then I would take notice of all the people who made comments on this site stating the crash is inevitable.

What happened to my beloved Mt Eden !!

Mt Eden on 25th place with a median house price of $1,446,750.00.
Cheers :-)

I'd love to see the stratified index info to see what is happening with that - It used to be published here?

ta. I don't know why this data series stopped updating on Annoying.

The data is no longer made publicly available by REINZ.

Oh no! a dip in the graph, things must be on the way back....could this be it...could this be it...
There seems to be many ups and down over the property cycle. Yes lets hope it doesn't come crashing down. Traditionally it's a slow time of year and the numbers were down in similar fashion at the last LVR cuts this time of year around the holidays.
Once the first quarter has done it's dash we may have a clearer picture whether fruitful and dandy or devastating! Seems like more noise for now...

@ Upside: I think you've got your dates mixed up. There was a sales and price down turn from Oct 15 to Feb 16, that was due to the IRD restrictions where Foreign Buyers were required to register and that temporarily locked them out of our property market for a few months.

The LVR restrictions were introduced to take the heat out of the market as we were told that the Foreign Buyer market only took 4% of the Auckland property market. So Mr Key decided it was far better to restrict local Kiwi Investors rather than Foreign Investors, I think that happened around August last year.

But no the market has drastically taken a down turn over the last three months, think why?

Answer: Foreign Investors have done a runner due to Capital Fight Restrictions that were enforced last November. Is it finally sinking in chaps??

Actually, the LVR restrictions most recently came in October 1, 2016 on new loan commitments, so it does tie in with the last 3 months. I am not saying it's necessarily the cause, but it is the same timing.

yes so investors and foreign owners were driving up the pricing not OO who can only pay what there wages support

Nice try MisterB; Actually wasn't it October 2015 the the LVR restrictions were introduced for Local Kiwi Investors for Auckland, so they've been in place for a while now and there was no major drop in the NZ market like there is now.

October 2016 increase was to LVR rules with a 40% deposit for investors nationally.

Yes though, I'm referring to the Auckland LVR restrictions where Local Investors were restricted to a 40% deposit in 2015. My point being, that if it was down to Local Investors being locked out of the market, then Auckland would have started to slip in sales and prices over a year ago. But the opposite happened, prices accelerated.

It's almost as if there's been massive mortgage fraud going on. Or even price fixing. I wonder who could be involved in that?

Property prices have climbed to dangerous levels in several advanced economies, raising the risk of massive price falls if markets overheat, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). I think it's their latest report along with China's recent Capital Flight restrictions that have sent the mortgage rates due to the much high risk.

Good work CJ spotting the "Fake comment"

Check this out

"Last year, 1,831 Auckland properties changed hands twice or more within a single year, and 74 within a single month, according to CoreLogic."

Time for a Vancouver Tax Stamp Duty on investors and Non citizen buyers... 15%

If the house i purchased in 1987s value is going to drop then i am obviously in the wrong game.

Whilst I am no RE bull I'm pretty sure this DEC dip is common every year? (although I stand to be corrected)...

When I see it continuing in Jan and Feb I'll believe the trend - been fooled before!

Gordon, prey tell us where all the Auckland people are leaving to go to?
You tell us that Chch residents are leaving in droves and now Aucklandites?
It is great that you advise us all of what is going on!

Have you seen Wellingtons stratified index?

It's starting to resemble Aucklands. I would suggest a large portion of Aucklanders are heading for the bottom of the North Island.

Good luck too them - as an ex Auckland-er much as I love Welly its a windy shacky cracker of a town (making plans to move up the island)

I agree. Never did see the appeal of Wellington
It's windy and cold, has only 2 roads in and out
Surrounded by steep hills making development tricky and therefore expensive
The valleys are damp and cold
and it's sitting on a major fault line.
Plus: it's full of politicians

There we go, both happy.
eating out is overrated, anyway, prefer to cook my own meals so I know what I'm having.
Prefer a decent IPA over a coffee, I know GP is in Welly, but quite happy with Tuatara and Croucher

Everywhere but Christchurch the Boy hence your house prices and rents are falling. You should have diversified.

Lowest Auckland December sales in 6 years. 16 percent lower than last year, 33 percent lower than peak in 2006. Historically low interest rates , surging immigration , rampant Asian credit and house flipping, housing shortage,listings shortage,, low unemployment, oodles of confidence, rents about to spike higher, the economic powerhouse of New Zealand, a desirable city , a global city ,and demand plummets. Oh dear.

People see what they want to see. The North Shore is up like 12% year on year. Perhaps people should stop looking day by day as is the case here. Look at the graph guys, still going in one direction. Sure its going to go down at some point, its getting to the point of inevitability but a small dip and a leveling off is not really going to help you if your not already on the ladder.

Look at this graph,

Not a prediction of the future but it all kind of depends where we are at in the cycle when looking at graphs.

Zombi - I look at that graph, then look at the reinz link you provided, then flick back between the two. Likeness is amazing, but of course one goes down rapidly and the other hasn't/doesn't (yet..). If only I had a crystal ball...

Indeed! They both look a bit like this;

Trying to predict the future is definitely hazardous, but extreme overvaluation is obvious in the case of Auckland (and not just by gazing at graphs, but in all of the metrics around debt, income, rents, etc). One thing is for sure....the Auckland market is a bubble floating around looking for a pin.

I looked at your graph, so ?

Carlos , its not being on the ladder that is concerning. When you remove your blinkers , you will see a python.

Ted what an original name
Suitably middle of the road for 1950
Who calls anyone TED anymore ?
Become more creative
Like Zachary Smith

You could say that half the country is still rising as six graphs out of twelve are still on an upward trajectory. Also every year at the same time we generally see it going down around Dec-Jan. Surely it is too early to tell what is going to happen next.

Whats that sound in the background for those long on Akl debt ponzi ...."pull up pull up...terrain warning....pull up pull up".

Its like watching a slow motion train crash. All fundamentals of investment went lala land years ago. Currently smashing last of dregs of debt, checks harness straps for tightness and grabs more popcorn...

I'm not really sure what you are saying, but it sounds like you might be one of those sitting in the theater watching and waiting for the ending you hope for never eventuating. Some of us have left the theater, put our popcorn in the bin and moved on.

Gordon, you are good value.
Have you ever been a standup comedian in earlier life?
I appreciate "the boy" name as it makes me feel younger, thank you.
Seriously though, where do you get all,your information from in regards to all these people deserting Auckland and Christchurch or is it just rumour mongering?

we all bump into them if you live outside of Christchurch, ie the people who have cashed up in Auckland. You will not notice it as I suspect few would be coming into Christchurch because of the lay of the land and the weather you endure down there. If you could choose to go to the Bays why would you not. Where I live I have new neighbours from Auckland who have bought the lifestyle property across from us. They have poured improvements into it and at the end of the month are off to the North Shore to tidy up their rental and put it on the market. They are obviously a bit edgy about how that is going to go as the North Shore is not the market it was.

David do we know when we'll get the next Auction results?

We'll be updating the Auction Results page as results become availaable, but there are very few auctions at the moment so there's likley to be just a few dribs and drabs until activity starts to pick up properly again in a couple of weeks.

Thanks Greg, Yes you're right about the low auction listing. I did take at Bayley's property auction listing recently for Auckland and hardly anything.
Though I also noticed that Barfoot and Thompson have been really pushing people to go to auction, so they could be one to keep an eye on.

Not sure if anyone has read this NZ Herald piece yet:

But what could possibly happen if 20% of owners had to sell? Surely we're not in the same/similar situation in NZ....?

We'd still have any 'under-supply' issue aye, even if 20% of the market had to sell up?

I think that is one of those fake news items we hear so much about. It is not an outright lie, just sensationalizing something that is not all that sensational. It just doesn't seem believable. LESS THAN 0.5%, yeah right. I'm sure if you questioned the reporter about the word 'struggle' he would end up justifying by saying something like, "Well, er, people would struggle to pay for that oversea's holiday or people might have to stop the gym membership they never go to anyway, or maybe no new car this year, cut back on five dollar coffees. It will be a struggle".
(0.5% on 500K is an additional $48 a week and the headline says less than 0.5%, less than $48)

Ha, on the same page there is a link to an article called:
My 'buy nothing year': How woman saved $38,100 by cutting back on unnecessary spending.

Auckland still has loads of upside potential just look at what the prices are in Vancouver at the moment as they are much higher than Auckland's.

So Auckland compared to Sydney, Singapore, Vancouver, San Fran etc is still a cheap destination for Foreign buyers.

Wonder if LINZ have sorted out their survey yet ? how many years does it take to update a questionaire ?

hasta mañana

Chuckle ... the obligation to collect data began October 2015 ... data to be released quarterly ...

How many releases of data have we had so far ? One or Two? ... after 5 quarters

In May 2016 LINZ acknowledged the survey was confusing ... and, here we are, almost a year later ?????

Joe Public,

I would be curious to know whether you think it would be a 'good thing', if Auckland prices were to match or even exceed the cities you mention.
Should Auckland aspire to be The Most Expensive City in the World,relative to income? if so,why?