While it wasn’t a new record, it was the highest annual percentage increase in house prices since records began; and 5 out of 16 regions reached record median prices as did 18 districts. The median house price for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased by 28.0% from $530,000 in May last year to $678,500 in May 2021. Auckland’s median house price increased by 26.9% from $905,000 in May 2020 to $1,148,000 in May 2021 – another new record for Auckland. Additionally, Papakura District and Waitakere City reached new record median prices of $900,000 and $1,050,000 respectively. In addition to Auckland, 3 other regions reached record median prices and 1 region was a record equal. They were: Taranaki: with a 29.1% increase from $426,000 in May 2020 to $550,000 in May 2021. Additionally, South Taranaki District saw a new record median of $405,000 Tasman: with a 21.2% increase from $701,500 in May 2020 to $850,000 in May 2021 Canterbury: with a 26.5% increase from $460,000 in May 2020 to $582,000 in May 2021. Additionally, Mackenzie District ($705,000), Selwyn District ($677,500) and Waimate District ($385,000) all saw record median highs Waikato: with a 21.7% increase from $600,000 in May 2020 to a record equal $730,000 in May 2021. Additionally, Otorohanga District ($535,000), Taupo District ($710,000), Waikato District ($726,000) and Waitomo District ($360,000) all reached record median highs. Wendy Alexander, Acting Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Whilst we haven’t seen as many record median prices in May as we’ve seen in the past few months, there is no denying that New Zealand’s residential property market is still holding strong. Median prices haven’t significantly eased yet as many had hoped would be the case, and things are certainly not getting any more affordable for first time buyers. “This is underpinned by some very strong results in the REINZ House Price Index (HPI), which reached a new high and represented the highest annual percentage increase in the New Zealand HPI that we’ve seen since records began,” continues Alexander. “Looking at the overall picture, we’re still seeing that the lack of total housing supply is continuing to push up house prices. In May, there were less than 15,000 properties available for sale across the entire country. This is the second lowest level of total inventory we’ve seen since we began collecting records, and properties are still selling relatively quickly for this time of year which is when we usually start to see things slow down a bit,” she points out. “While some of the regions are starting to show signs of prices easing, which will be welcome news for locals who are looking to buy, it’s hard to know whether this is a direct result of the 23 March announcements or just the usual winter slow down. This is particularly true given that the Auckland market is still forging ahead, with another record median price seen in May. “There are now only two districts in the Auckland Region where the median house price is less than $1 million – Franklin District ($822,000) and Papakura District ($900,000). Auckland City remains the most expensive district in the country at $1,351,000 followed by North Shore City on $1,330,000. Even Waitakere City has now exceeded the $1 million mark with a new record of $1,050,000 in May,” points out Alexander.