New Zealand’s Housing Market Hits Record Highs as Urban Areas Drive Growth

Quite the amount of good news coming from the Antipodes as New Zealand’s real estate market is currently on the up.

New Zealand stats by REINZ

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Auckland, New Zealand—Quite the amount of good news coming from the Antipodes as New Zealand’s real estate market is currently on the up. The archipelago has seen its housing market reach record numbers in March as sales surged during the past month. With a considerable amount of growth observable in terms of both median prices and amount of completed transactions, local professionals will hope that this is not a mere spike, and will keep their fingers crossed for sustained improvement.

Data shows that March 2013 saw the sale of 8,128 houses, which means that last month outpaced February in terms of sales by 23 percent, and March 2012 by 11 percent. According to figures issued by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, March 2013 has seen the completion of the largest number of home sales since May 2007.

Two of the country’s major cities, namely Auckland and Christchurch, are behind the increase in the country’s average home prices, which last month stood at 8.1 percent. That translates into a $26,000 average price increase, and a median transaction value of $346,000. Furthermore, Auckland and the Canterbury region have had such strong average values that specialists are concerned that they may have too much of an impact on the overall image of the housing market. Both the country’s largest city and the area surrounding Christchurch have seen record prices in March with values of approximately $486,000 and $311,000 respectively.

According to data from REINZ, New Zealand’s residential market is seeing improvement in all aspects, including the amount of time a house is on the market before it is picked up by a buyer. Research shows that last month, it took a property eight days less to trade hands than in February, and four days when compared to the same timeframe in 2012.

Some 492 transactions had values surpassing 1 million NZD, or $870,000, making up 6.1 percent of the total number of home sales recorded in March. The amount of money transacted for residential properties on New Zealand’s territory last month stands at approximately $3.55 billion.