New Zealand property market heats up before spring

It's common knowledge that the spring season is a hot time for buying and selling residential real estate. Many people often take advantage of this time before the busy holiday season begins.

In New Zealand, the property market is heating up – and quickly!

Already, transactions for houses for sale have reached 5,481 in August this year, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ). While this figure is down compared to the same time last year, house values are on the up. 

Where are house prices rising in New Zealand?

Nationally, New Zealand's property market has seen some strong results over the past year. The REINZ reported a median price of $420,000 this August, after increasing one per cent over the month. 

However, it's the growth since August 2013 that's truly of note. Over the 12 months to August 2014, national house prices have risen a significant 7.7 per cent. That's a whole $30,000.

Some of the biggest areas across New Zealand in terms of price growth have been Auckland, Canterbury/Westland and the Waikato/Bay of Plenty. 

As for annual price growth, Central Otago Lakes took the top spot after registering a large 10.5 per cent increase in median prices. 

The REINZ data also showed which areas in New Zealand were selling the quickest. Canterbury/Westland held the top spot for shortest period to sell (31 days), showing lots of demand for houses for sale in this region. 

Real estate in Auckland: A stellar performer

Auckland is New Zealand's biggest city, but it's also the region that has seen some of the largest rises in real estate values. 

After performing a revaluation, the Auckland City Council (ACC) identified a significant 33 per cent increase since 2011. 

ACC registered valuer Peter McKay noted that some of the biggest changes in value were seen in suburbs close to Auckland CBD, while rural real estate and suburban areas were on the lower end of the scale. 

"At this stage we are looking at an upward movement for the Auckland region of an average 33 per cent since the last revaluation in 2011, which is broadly in line with expectations," said Mr McKay in a recent statement.

Mr McKay noted that certain areas saw increases of over 40 per cent, while others ranged within 22 per cent and 44 per cent.