Photo: Jaafar Alnasser Photgraphy
There were 7,064 dwelling sales in the month of December, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, down 4.7 per cent from November. While there is usually some season cooling, though, sales were up 24.2 per cent on December 2013.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of sales was up 4.6 per cent on November, indicating that sales for December were a lot stronger than would normally be expected for this time of year.
Four regions recorded an increase in sales volume compared to November with Hawkes Bay recording the largest percentage increase of 7.2 per cent, followed by Nelson/Marlborough with 6.8% and Northland with 4.2%. All regions recorded an increase in sales volume compared to December 2013
REINZ Chief Executive Helen O’Sullivan says: “The data for December shows very strong sales growth compared to 12 months ago and a much higher level of sales that we would normally expect for the final month of the year. The effect has been seen right across the country, with a number of regions seeing further increases in sales in December after a strong November. The normal December slow down hasn’t really happened in 2014.”
The national median price was $450,000 for the month of December, an increase of $23,000 or 5.4 per cent compared to December 2013, and a decline of $5,750 or 1.3% from November.
Six regions recorded an increasem, bvut taking total volumes and prices into account, Auckland accounted for 98 per cent of the increase in the median price between December 2014 and December 2013.
“Apart from Auckland, median prices across the country have moderated somewhat,” adds O’Sullivan. “For the year ended December, Auckland’s median price rose by 13 per cent, but the national median rose by only 5.4 per cent. Even Canterbury, which has seen strong price growth during 2014 has seen its rate of price increase pull back to under 2 per cent for the 12 months to December 2014.”
The relative surge in prices in Auckland is attributed mainly to a lack of supply in the region.
“The real estate market remains split between Auckland, with strong demand and price growth, and the rest of the country,” continues O’Sullivan. “While a number of regions are experiencing listing shortages the situation in Auckland is acute, with less than three months supply available and demand continuing to be robust. Vendors are simply not coming forward in large enough numbers to meet the demand, despite the strong price rises seen in Auckland over the past three years.”