National median house sale prices and those in six areas throughout the country set records last month, Real Estate Institute figures out for September show.

Bryan Thomson, REINZ spokesman, said new highs were set in Northland ($390,000), Waikato/Bay of Plenty ($458,500), Taranaki ($350,000), Wellington ($480,000), Nelson/Marlborough ($450,000) and Otago ($296,000).

Nationally, the median residential sale price rose from $484,650 a year ago to $515,000 and it has not been that high before.

But Auckland is "taking a wet winter breather", REINZ said, adding that on a seasonally adjusted basis, median Auckland sale prices fell 3 per cent in September. Sales for Auckland fell 23 per cent compared with September last year, REINZ said.

Thomson explained more.

"The real estate market in New Zealand appears to be in something of a two-speed mode at present, with Auckland pausing for breath during a wet school holiday period and ahead of likely new spring growth.

"We are also seeing anecdotal evidence that first home buyers in Auckland are now favouring new builds as a way of getting finance in the light of the new LVR restrictions and the 'carve out' for new home construction. Meanwhile, across the rest of the country prices continue to rise, still demonstrating strong price and volume growth," Thomson said.

"There were 1769 dwellings sold by auction nationally in September, representing 24 per cent of all sales and a decrease of 541 (-23 per cent ) on the number of auctions in September 2015," REINZ said.

"Auckland auction transactions dropped 13 per cent to 56 per cent of national auction sales, compared to a year ago, reflecting reduced inventory levels. The number of auctions in Wellington increased 235 per cent compared to September 2015, albeit off a small base, and fell by 4 per cent across the rest of New Zealand."

"The number of properties available for sale across all regions in New Zealand except Auckland has continued to fall between September 2015 and September 2016.

"Wellington has the fewest properties for sale with seven weeks of supply, closely followed by Otago with under 10 weeks supply, Hawke's Bay with 10 weeks of supply, and Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Nelson/Marlborough with 11 weeks of supply.

"Auckland saw an uptick in the level of inventory from 10 to 12.5 weeks of supply," REINZ said.

Barfoot data out this month showed a relatively static volume of sales lately: 1306 in May, 1168 in June, 1034 in July, 1003 in August and 1051 last month. Median residential sale prices were $809,500 in May, $839,500 in June, $840,000 in July, $850,000 in August and $850,000 in September.


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