Annual REINZ data confirms two-year gridlock on Auckland house prices

A couple standing outside of a house.
Auckland is the only region where the annual median selling price hasn't budged. Photo credit: Getty.

Annual REINZ data comparing median house prices from 2017 to 2019 puts Auckland growth well behind the rest of the country.

While the median selling price jumped in 14 regions last year compared to 2018, property in Auckland stagnated at $850,000 across both years, following a $1000 drop from $851,000 in 2017.

"The Auckland market has remained flat for around 2.5 years now, however towards the end of 2019 we started seeing some potential signs of growth," Bindi Norwell, chief executive at REINZ said.

In contrast, Gisborne, Manawatu-Wanganui, Southland, Otago and Hawkes Bay each experienced, double-digit growth from 2018 to 2019 - and all regions but Auckland had an increase in the median selling price from 2017 to 2018.

Treena Drinnan, Head of Network Services at Ray White, said that lending restrictions and falling net migration resulting in fewer overseas buyers are likely reasons for the Auckland property market staying flat.

However, the end of 2019 saw more buyers and investors returning to the market, including Kiwi expats, which could see prices take off again.

"We expect Auckland prices to increase in the first half of this year, before moderating due to election uncertainty. 

"Financial conditions are supporting and having a positive influence on the market, as is the demand for supply in Auckland," Drinnan said. 

While on a year-on-year basis, the median selling price in Auckland hasn't gone anywhere, among the regions experiencing the highest growth in 2019 compared to 2018 were Gisborne, up by 21.6 percent to $389,000, Southland, up 20.4 percent to $301,000 and Manawatu-Wanganui, up 19.4 percent to $370,000.

"This is the second consecutive year of strong growth in Gisborne, with prices having increased 37.3 percent from $283,250 in 2017," Norwell said.

"Additionally, Manawatu-Wanganui also saw strong continued growth, increasing 37 percent over the two years, from $270,050 in 2017 to $370,000 in 2019 - almost a $100,000 difference." 

The only region to experience negative growth last year was the West Coast, where the median selling price dropped by 1.3 percent compared to 2018, to $197,500.

"While the West Coast was the only region to decrease in median price, the movement was small and was still an increase when compared to 2017, when the median price was $190,000," Norwell added.

Across New Zealand, the number of homes sold in 2019 decreased by 1.2 percent compared to 2018, while in Auckland, the number sold dropped by 1.3 percent.

"[REINZ has] also experienced a 8.1 percent decrease in the number of listings in 2019 compared to 2018: 106,819 listings in 2019 compared to 116,193 listings in 2018," Norwell added. 

Median residential sale price by region 2017-2019

Region                                            2017                 2018              % change          2019            % change  

  • Auckland                            $851,000         $850,000      0.1%                    $850,000    0.0%
  • Bay of Plenty                     $540,000         $570,000       5.6%                   $600,000    5.3%  
  • Canterbury                         $436,000         $445,000       2.1%                   $450,000    1.1%  
  • Gisborne                             $283,250         $320,000        13%                   $389,000    21.6% 
  • Hawkes Bay                      $390,500         $444,000     13.7%                   $493,000    11%
  • Manawatu-Wanganui     $270,050         $310,000     14.8%                  $370,000    19.4%
  • Marlborough                      $400,000          $420,000         5%                    $450,000    7%
  • Nelson                                 $481,130         $525,000        9.1%                 $565,000     7.6%
  • Northland                            $430,000         $469,000        9.1%                 $495,000     5.5%
  • Otago                                   $389,625         $435,500       11.8%                $492,500     13.1%
  • Southland                           $232,500         $250,000         7.5%                 $301,000     20.4%
  • Taranaki                               $350,000         $360,125       2.9%                 $385,000      6.9%
  • Tasman                                $535,000         $583,500        9.1%                 $610,000      4.5%
  • Waikato                                $483,000         $515,000        6.6%                 $546,500      6.1%
  • Wellington                           $528,000         $586,000       11.0%               $640,000       9.2%
  • West Coast                         $190,000         $200,000          5.3%              $197,500      -1.3 %

Source: REINZ 

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