Report from BusinessDesk
New Zealand house prices rose in February, edging back toward the record high set in December and highlighting the heating property market that’s likely to be concerning the central bank.
The median sale price in the Auckland region rose 14 percent to $535,000 from February 2012 and the number of sales climbed 16 percent to 2,399.
The median sale price across Wellington rose 4.4 percent to $405,000 from a year ago, with a 12 percent lift in volumes to 763.
The national median house price rose 7.6 percent in February to $382,000, still below the record $389,000 set in December, according to the Real Estate Institute. The median price for Canterbury/Westland rose 3.2 percent to a record $355,000.
The Reserve Bank is seeking feedback on proposals to introduce macro-prudential tools such as limits on loan-to-value ratios that would allow it to target pockets of heat without stifling the whole economy. Economists say governor Graeme Wheeler may give more detail of his thoughts and single out the housing market in his monetary policy statement on Thursday.
The stratified housing price index, which was developed with the central bank and smoothes out the skew effects when more high or low-value houses are sold, rose to a record high 3,544.9 last month, REINZ said in its report.
There were 6,632 houses sold in February, up 34 percent from January and an increase of 7.5 percent from the same month last year. The median number of days to sell fell two days to 39 in February from a month earlier, and was down by seven days from a year ago.
Sales in Canterbury/Westland fell 4.1 percent to 859 from a year earlier, while Otago median sale prices increased 1.4 percent to $243,000 on an 11 percent pick-up in sales numbers to 258.