House prices fall across New Zealand over summer

House prices across New Zealand have fallen 2 percent since December 2020 but have still recorded significant growth year on year.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) released their monthly data for January on Tuesday which showed a marginal decline in the median New Zealand house price from $745,000 down to $730,300.

For New Zealand, excluding Auckland, house prices fell 4.4 percent month-on-month from $630,000 to $602,000 in January.

Auckland had a decline of 2.4 percent, down $25,000 from $1,025,000 to $1,000,000.

However, chief executive Bindi Norwell said the decline was expected, as Kiwis head to the beach for the summer holidays.

"The Auckland market saw a slight cooling off in prices when compared to the record high we saw in December 2020, which is what we would expect at this time of the year," she said.

"Interestingly, when we look at the data from a seasonally adjusted perspective, house prices were actually higher than we would normally expect at this time of the year (an increase of 1.7 percent)."

But she said despite the decline, the housing market was busier and more buoyant in January 2021 than normal for this time of the year.

Despite the decline month-on-month, New Zealand's median house price has significantly by 19.3 percent since January 2020.

In January 2020, the median house price was $612,000, but as of a year later, it has jumped to $730,300. 

Excluding Auckland, median house prices rose by 14.7 percent from  $525,000 in January 2020 to $602,000 in January 2021, REINZ reported.

Auckland's median house price increased by 14.9 percent from $870,000 at the same time last year to $1,000,000.

Among record-breaking regions were Bay of Plenty (up 13.1 per cent from January 2020 to $769,000 in 2021), Hawke’s Bay (up 25.9 per cent to $692,500), Taranaki (up 23.8 per cent to $520,000), and Nelson (up 19.2 to $712,500).

Norwell said Kiwis are still buying in fear of missing out and properties are continuing to sell quickly.

"Last month, residential properties sold at their fastest pace for a January month in 17 years, carrying on the pattern we’ve seen over the past few months and therefore continuing to impact pricing."