New Zealand’s housing market ended 2017 on an upswing, according to a report Thursday by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.
Median prices rose across the nation’s two islands to NZ$550,000 (US$400,455) from NZ$520,000 (US$378,612) in December 2016, an increase of 5.8%. In Auckland alone—the country’s largest city on the North Island—median house prices increased 1.8% in December to NZ$870,000 (US$633,490), up from NZ$855,000 (US$622,568) in December 2016, the report said.
Of the 16 regions the institute analyzed, 13 saw price increases. Three of the regions logged record prices, according to the report:
- Prices in Waikato—found on the upper North Island—were up 11.7% year-on-year to NZ$525,000 (US$382,252)
- In the Bay of Plenty on the northern coast of the North Island, median prices rose 20.4% year-on-year to NZ$598,000 (US$435,403)
- In Wellington, the country’s capital, prices hit NZ$560,000 (US$407,736) up 4.7%
The three regions that logged price falls were all on the South Island:
- Marlborough, at the northeastern tip of the South Island, was down 2.1% to NZ$372,000 (US$270,853)
- In West Coast, on the west coast of the South Island and one of the more sparsely populated areas of the country, prices fell 1.6% to NZ$185,000 (US$134,698)
- In Canterbury, located in the central-eastern area of the South Island, prices dropped 0.7% to NZ$439,000 (US$319,635)
“This increase defies the predictions of many commentators who 12 or 13 months ago were adamant that house prices would fall in 2017,” said Bindi Norwell, chief executive at the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, in the report.
The number of properties available for sale nationally increased by 9.3% (from 22,521 to 24,610), compared to 12 months prior.
An undersupply of housing in the country led Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to announce in October that New Zealand will ban foreigners from buying existing housing stock beginning this year.
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