What $1M Homes Look Like Around NZ

Million dollar-plus properties are selling at the rate of 25 a day in New Zealand - 22 a day in Auckland - and at nearly double the frequency of the previous year.

Of 9424 million dollar-plus homes sold around the country in the year to November 1 this year, 8261 of them were in Auckland, according to the latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures.

The figures, released yesterday, showed that in the same period for 2014 there were 5198 similarly priced sales - meaning an 81 per cent jump.

In Auckland, there was a 91 per cent increase, leaping from 4315 sales.

A Herald comparison of houses listed for sale across the country yesterday showed the variance of properties with larger asking prices.

In Grey Lynn, a 1950s weatherboard three-bedroom home with peeling paint, mouldy ceilings and dirty carpet had an asking price of $1.12 million.

In Bay of Plenty, a four-bedroom house with pristine interiors, a swimming pool and sea views was priced at $1.04 million.

REINZ director Bryan Thomson said comparing the price of different properties throughout New Zealand was pointless.

"What you get in Tauranga compared to Grey Lynn is not comparable. Someone who buys in Grey Lynn does so for a multitude of reasons, because they don't want to be anywhere else."

Mr Thomson said the growth of million-dollar property sales reflected rising property prices in Auckland, increased immigration, low interest rates, a strong economy and overall "positive outlook" in the industry - and among Kiwis in general.

"I don't think you can look at the number of sales above $1 million without saying there are simply more houses priced over $1 million," he said.

New Zealand's median house price was $460,000 last month, increasing 7 per cent from the same month last year, according to the figures.

Auckland's median price was $748,250, a 16.8 per cent rise, and there were 697 sales of $1 million-plus properties, compared with 427 in the same month last year.

Overall, the REINZ data showed sales volumes fell 4.1 per cent nationwide last month, but on an annual basis sale volumes rose 19 per cent.

The figures showed sales were down 19 per cent in Auckland last month.

Experts said the dip in sales was due to the Reserve Bank's introduction of new measures to quell the risk from a housing bubble - a response to concern about inflated prices in Auckland's property market, where migrants and investors are adding to competition for a shortage of housing stock.

Century 21 New Zealand's national manager, Geoff Barnett, said: "I think the Government's introduction of the 'bright-line' test ... has had a measurable impact."

But he expected sales to pick up again soon, especially in Auckland. "Auckland is cushioned by the fact that there is a shortage of housing stock and it enjoys huge population growth. So while there may be swings and roundabouts from month to month and with policy and lending changes, Auckland housing demand remains strong."

Mr Thomson expected higher-end sales to stay strong as a "more powerful group of buyers", who would pay premium prices, emerged.

"As people become more affluent, they want to improve their lives so they want to get into those areas where houses are more premium-priced.

"Most of the areas where homes are above $1 million there is no land to build new houses, so the only way to get in there is to buy an existing property."

$1m-plus property sales in NZ
Oct 2013 - Oct 2014

Auckland 4315
Wellington 184
Waikato/BoP 184
Canterbury 231
Total NZ : 5198

Oct 2014 - Oct 2015

Auckland 8261
Waikato/BoP 310
Wellington 258
Canterbury 297
Total NZ: 9424


-NZ Herald