House prices took a tumble in December, finishing the year on a soft note, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of NZ.
The REINZ House Price Index declined -1.1% overall in December compared to November, led by lower prices in the Auckland market, where prices were down -2.3% for the month.
The HPI posted declines for December in most major centres, falling -0.4% in Hamilton, -1.0% in Tauranga, -2.2% in Hastings, -0.8% in Wellington City, -0.3% in Nelson City, -1.1% in Christchurch and -0.1% in Invercargill.
Within the Auckland region, the biggest price decline was in Central Auckland which includes many of the city’s most expensive suburbs, where the HPI declined by -4.1% in December, followed by Franklin on the city’s southern boundary where the HPI declined by -3.1% for the month. See the table below for the full main centre figures.
The REINZ HPI was developed in conjunction with Reserve Bank as is considered the most reliable indicator of current price movements in the housing market.
On a regional basis, the HPI showed declines in eight regions last month, with four regions posting an increase in prices – see second table below.
The national median selling price was $779,830 in December, down -1.9% compared to November.
Market activity levels also remain soft, with the REINZ recording 5145 residential sales across the country in December.
Although that was up +14% compared to December last year, it was down by -27% compared to December 2021, down by -46% compared to December 2020 and down by -21% compared to pre-Covid levels in December 2019.
However, December is always one of the quieter months for the real estate industry with the market coming to a standstill over the Christmas/New Year break.
The next few weeks should give a better a idea of where things are sitting as activity starts to wind up again, with March usually being the busiest month of the year for sales activity.
REINZ House Price Index – December 2023
REINZ Regional House Price Index – December 2023
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