New Zealand house prices have set a new annual record, and Otago and Southland are in the top six fastest-rising areas for annual median house prices.

Latest Real Estate Institute data showed that was the first time this country's house prices had gone above $600,000.

Otago has risen to a new record annual median house price at $550,000.

Southland was the area with the second highest percentage of growth, at 23.5% just behind Gisborne, when it came to annual median house price and had a median value of $315,000.

Six areas with the fastest-rising prices annually were:

  • Gisborne, up 37.1% from $310,000 to $425,000
  • Southland, up 23.5% from $255,000 to $315,000 
  • Manawatu/Whanganui, up 20.9% from $337,000 to $407,500;
  • Hawke's Bay, up 16.3% from $460,000 to $535,000;
  • Otago, up 15.8% from $475,000 to $550,000;
  • Waikato, up 9.6% from $$520,000 to $570,000;

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said October was a strong month for record median prices and the new national record median.

"This is the highest number of regional record prices we've seen for the country in 23 months.


Changes in median prices in October. Source: REINZ
Changes in median prices in October. Source: REINZ

The REINZ House Price Index, which measures the changing value of property, rose 3.9% year-on-year to 2863, a new record high.

In October the median number of days to sell a property nationally decreased by a day from 35 to 34 days when compared to October last year. This figure was down two days on last month's figure of 36 days, REINZ said.

Auctions were used in 15.5% of all national sales last month, with 1052 properties selling via that method, in line with the same time last year.

National Inventory is falling: the total number of properties available for sale nationally fell 13.1% in October to 22,313.

CoreLogic said last week the house sale market showed further signs of strengthening nationally in October with all main urban areas enjoying property value lifts.

The CoreLogic QV House Price Index showed that nationwide, average property values rose by 0.4% last month.

"Housing market conditions are building momentum, following the tentative signs of growth witnessed last month," CoreLogic commentary on November 4 said.

Regionally, the standout performer from main centres remained Dunedin, up 2.7% over the month to be up 6% quarterly, the biggest jump in values in nearly 15 years.

Auckland's North Shore, previously the city's weakest value growth area, now led the region's recovery, with 1.5% growth in the three months to the end of October, CoreLogic said.

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