NZ’s housing market continues apace despite summer holidays
Despite most New Zealanders taking a summer holiday in January, the housing market was busier
and more buoyant than we would usually see at this time of the year, according to the latest data
from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), source of the most complete and accurate
real estate data in New Zealand.
Median house prices across New Zealand increased by 19.3% from $612,000 in January 2020 to
$730,300 in January 2021. While median prices were down marginally from December, house prices
held up better than we would normally expect when moving from December to January as indicated
by REINZ’s seasonally adjusted median pricing data which showed a 2.0% lift.
Median house prices for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased by 14.7% from $525,000 in
January last year to $602,000.
Auckland’s median house price increased by 14.9% from $870,000 at the same time last year to
In January, four regions saw record median prices and one region saw a record equal. Regions with
record median prices were:
• Bay of Plenty: with a 13.1% increase from $680,000 in January 2020 to $769,000 in January
2021. Additionally, Kawerau District ($367,000), Rotorua District ($600,000), Tauranga City
($854,000) and Western Bay of Plenty District ($793,500) all reached record median highs in
January• Hawke’s Bay: with a 25.9% increase from $550,000 in January 2020 to $692,500 in January
2021. Additionally, Central Hawke’s Bay District ($590,000), Napier City ($770,000) and
Wairoa District ($621,000) all reached record median highs in January
• Taranaki: with a 23.8% increase from $420,000 in January 2020 to $520,000 in January 2021.
Additionally, New Plymouth District ($600,000) and South Taranaki District ($395,000)
reached record median highs in January
• Nelson: with a 19.2% increase from $597,500 in January 2020 to $712,500 in January 2021
• Manawatu/Wanganui was a record equal remaining on the same median price as December
2020 at $525,000. Additionally, Horowhenua District ($530,000), Manawatu District
($560,000), Palmerston North City ($650,000), Ruapehu District ($391,000) and Whanganui
District ($485,000) all reached record median highs in January.
Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Usually, in January the residential property market
slows down, and prices ease off a bit as people head to the beach for their summer holidays.
However, the first month of 2021 was anything but normal, as house prices across the country have
continued to rise with January seeing four regions reach new record median prices and one region
equal its December record. Furthermore, 27 districts around the country reached new record high
median prices, with 13 of those districts exceeding last month’s record.
“Additionally, the fear of future price rises and the fear of missing out lingers deep in buyers’ minds
and is impacting people’s buying behaviour as January saw a continuation of properties selling at a
rapid pace. Last month, residential properties sold at their fastest pace for a January month in 17
years, carrying on the pattern we’ve seen over the past few months and therefore continuing to
“The Auckland market saw a slight cooling off in prices when compared to the record high we saw in
December 2020, which is what we would expect at this time of the year. Interestingly, when we look
at the data from a seasonally adjusted perspective, house prices were actually higher than we would
normally expect at this time of the year (+1.7%). North Shore City ($1,255,000) and Rodney District
($1,100,000) again reached new record median prices showing how there is still strong competition
for good properties in the region and how affordability continues to be an issue,” points out Norwell.
January’s sales volumes highest for month of January in 5 years
The number of residential properties sold in January across New Zealand increased by 3.2% when
compared to the same time last year (from 4,802 to 4,957) – the highest for the month of January in
For New Zealand excluding Auckland, the number of properties sold decreased by 10.3% when
compared to the same time last year (from 3,443 to 3,087) – the lowest for the month of January for
7 years and the first annual decrease in 8 months.
In Auckland, the number of properties sold in January increased by 37.6% year-on-year (from 1,359
to 1,870) – the highest for the month of January in 14 years.
The number of homes sold for less than $500,000 across New Zealand fell from 33.8% of the market
(1,625 properties) in January 2020 to 22.2% of the market (1,099 properties) in January 2021.
The number of properties sold in the $500,000 to $750,000 bracket fell from 33.8% (1,624
properties) to 29.7% (1,471 properties).
At the top end of the market, the percentage of properties sold for $1 million or more increased
from 14.5% (697 properties) in January 2020 to 25.6% (1,271 properties) in January 2021.
For the full REINZ Monthly Property Reports please click on the following images;