Christchurch house prices have set another record, with the median (mid-point) house price reaching $470,000 in March.
The autumn price lift was a recovery after a small price fall over summer, and a previous high of $459,000 in November.
House prices have risen 44 per cent in a decade. In March 2007, the median house price was $325,000.
The figures, from the Real Estate Institute, also showed a record median price for Canterbury-Westland of $440,000.
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Christchurch has New Zealand’s steadiest housing market since rebuilding and repairs replenished the supply of homes after the earthquakes, and prices have been rising roughly in line with inflation. A recent Massey University study found home affordability in Christchurch had improved by 10.8 per cent in a year, due partly to low interest rates and wage rises.
Institute director Jim Davis described the city’s housing market as solid and steady.
“The market is well balanced, as it has been for the past several months.”
March often saw a rise in prices corresponding with the end of a tax year, he said. Also, lending restrictions making borrowing harder for first-time buyers and investors meant there were more sales of mid-priced and dearer homes than cheaper ones, pushing up the median price.
Prices also rose strongly in South Canterbury, including Timaru city, but fell in some other parts of the region. A total of 1099 homes sold in Canterbury-Westland during March, of which 684 were in Christchurch.
Nationally, the median March price was $546,000, up 10.3 per cent in a year. The biggest price rises were in Northland, Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki. Homes and sections worth $6.14 billion sold nationally in March.
Within Canterbury-Westland, homes took a median of 33 days to sell.
March median prices, and annual change
Christchurch: $470,000 (+5.6)
North Canterbury: $419,000 (-8.4%)
Rangiora $456,000: (+7%)
Mid-Canterbury $339,395: (-4.4%)
Timaru $349,000: (+11.9%)
South Canterbury $312,500: (+15.5%)
West Coast $210,000: (-6.3%)