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Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures reveal big regional differences in the housing market at the start of the year

By Greg Ninness


The housing market got off to a booming start to the year in Auckland although sales in most other parts of the country were more subdued.

According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, 1870 residential properties were sold in Auckland in January, up 37.6% compared to January last year.

It was the highest number of properties sold in the Auckland market in the month of January for 14 years.

In Manukau and on the North Shore, January's sales volumes were up more than 50%.

Six other regions also had higher sales in January compared to a year ago - Northland +3.8%, Waikato +2.8%, Gisborne +7.7%, Canterbury +6.4%, West Coast +54.1% and Southland +18.4% but the market was generally quieter around the rest of the country.

Wellington had the lowest number of sales for the month of January ever, Tasman was at a 21 year low, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Otago were all at 10 year lows, and Taranaki had its lowest January sales in six years.

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell attributed the low level of sales in several regions to a shortage of new listings late last year.

"Those regions with solid levels of new listings back in November and December are now benefiting from an uplift in sales volumes, whereas those with chronic low listings and total inventory shortages, such as Taranaki, Manawatu/Whanganui, and Wellington, are now starting to see this impacting the market," she said.

Selling prices dipped slightly, with January's national median price declining from $745,000 in December to $730,000 in January, although that was still up by 19.3% compared to January last year.

Auckland's median declined for the second month in a row from a record $1,030,000 in November to $1 million in January.

However four regions posted record median prices in January - Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Taranaki and Nelson.

Check out the latest QV House Price Index.

This story was originally published on and has been republished here with permission.