New Zealand house prices rose 5.6 per cent in the 12 months to the end of March, according to the latest figures released by the Bureau of Statistics.
The country’s annual rate of house price growth is 3.5 per cent.
However, the data also shows that prices were up 1.1 per cent compared with the same period last year.
The annual rate for the past 12 months has averaged 6.2 per cent, according the Bureau.
The increase was driven by a rise in the price of new construction in Auckland, followed by a drop in Wellington and Christchurch.
The figures also showed a jump in the number of homes purchased by second homes.
In the three months to March, 1,569,400 houses were sold, up 3.2 million from the previous 12 months.
In Christchurch, sales rose 1.6 million to 1,957,500, and the number sold fell 3.4 per cent to 1.5 million.
Auckland rose by 3.1 million and Christ, up 2.2, and Wellington, down 2.5, fell by 1.2 and 1.3 per cent respectively.
Wellington’s property market, which is largely dependent on foreign investment, is seeing an average of around 200,000 homes per year built, down from about 500,000 a year ago.
The BIS data also showed that there was a rise of around 20,000 units in the Christchurch region.
The average house price in Christchurch is now $1.1m, up from $1m a year earlier, while the average Auckland price is $1,300,000, up 7.6 from the same time last year, according a report by the Auckland Institute of Economic Research.
In Canterbury, which had its first housing boom in the 1980s, house prices increased by 10 per cent from the 12 to the 12 month period to the ending March, while in Wellington, they increased by 4.2% to $1 million.
Canterbury’s median house price is now more than $1 billion.
Canterbury home sales The New Zealand Property Institute said the Canterbury region’s average home price rose by 4 per cent last year from $723,000 to $972,000.
The Canterbury region has a median house cost of $1billion.
The report found that there are some factors contributing to the growth in house prices.
For one, there are a few factors that are contributing to rising house prices in the Canterbury market, including a lower supply of homes and a higher demand for new dwellings, particularly in Auckland and Christ in the years to the mid-2020s.
“The impact of those factors has led to a relatively large increase in house price, but also a relatively small increase in supply and demand,” the report said.
The rate of growth in Auckland was 1.7 per cent while Canterbury’s rate of increase was 1 per cent for the same periods.
Christchurch’s rate was 0.9 per cent and Wellington’s rate is 0.5 percent.
Auckland is now home to more than 80,000 people, compared with around 47,000 for Christchurch and around 29,000 in Canterbury.
In Wellington, about 21,000 families own a home.
The number of households owning homes rose by 0.7 in the period to March 2018 from December 2017.
The figure for Christ in Canterbury was unchanged at just under 2,000 households, the report showed.
A new study released by property agency RP Data said that the Canterbury housing market is the most expensive in New Zealand.
It said that a large number of first homes and second homes were sold to buyers who bought properties to live in in anticipation of the arrival of foreign investment.
“While the overall house price increase for Canterbury is lower than Auckland, the rate of rise is faster and more significant in Canterbury than in Christ,” the RP Data report said, adding that Canterbury’s house prices are the highest in New South Wales.
“In Canterbury, the average house cost is now nearly $1million, with some units costing more than twice that amount.”
Property firm Huttman Realty Group said it was concerned that the country was experiencing a housing bubble and that the current rate of price growth was unsustainable.
The company is a tenant in the country’s largest property development, Huttmans Auckland development, which includes the Queenstown shopping centre and the main shopping centre in the city.
Property agent Huttmen Realty said that despite the low supply of houses, there was still a large demand for houses.
“We’re seeing a very high demand for property in the area and that’s driven by the number and variety of new homes coming to the area,” it said.
“It’s important to note that, while this is an increasing demand, we do expect the current market to stabilise over time.””
It’s important to note that, while this is an increasing demand, we do expect the current market to stabilise over time.”