NZ property prices expected to creep upward in 2012

New Zeland property market has recovered and outlook is good, say economists

Residential property prices in New Zealand are expected to increase in 2012 although no sudden boom is predicted.

The latest figures from the New Zealand Real Estate Institute show that the market has recovered and economists say the outlook is good.

The REINZ data shows that there was a 6.8% rise in November house sales and volumes are consistent with other indicators pointing to a pick up in housing market activity.

REINZ said Auckland had a strong recovery after the city’s median reached a new record of $490,000 last month, exceeding previous records of $479,500 in April.

‘The REINZ Housing Price Index for Auckland is now at the same level that it reached at the peak of the market in July 2007, although most other markets tracked by the REINZ Housing Price Index remain below the peak,’ said the institute.

‘Of note in Auckland has been the rapid increase in the number of properties being sold at auction,’ it added.

QV said last week that values in the city were up 4.7% in the year to November and across the entire Auckland region, values rose 3.4% and are now at their highest ever level, some 0.6% above the previous peak of late 2007.

According to Tony Alexander of the Bank of New Zealand prices are unlikely to be stable due to low interest rates.

Christina Leung of ASB said the REINZ figures pointed to a gradual recovery in activity which would continue over the coming year, with further house price increases likely to be modest.

The figures show that median house prices in Northland in November were $305,000, up from $292,500 in October. In Auckland they were $490,000, up from $465,000 in October.

But in Waikato they fell to $310,000 in November compared with $315,475 in October and in Taranaki they decreased from $290,500 in October to $272,500 in November. Prices also fell in Wellington, from $392,500 in October to $383,250 in November.

But in Canterbury/Westland prices crept up from $329,000 in October to $335,000 in November.

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