The number of houses sold in Auckland was up almost 28 per cent in December from a year earlier and prices had risen by an average of more than $29,000, according to the latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand data.
While such a strong spike could seem alarming, the Auckland real estate market had actually eased last month from November showing it was following typical seasonal patterns rather than suddenly racing ahead. Prices are still expected to increase modestly during 2012.
There were 1826 houses sold unconditionally in Auckland in December, at an average price of $484,375. This compares to 1428 properties sold the previous December at $455,000 on average.
In November, the market was more buoyant than last month - 2266 houses were sold in Auckland with an average price of $490,000.
"Volumes were lower than November, as expected given the shortened working month, and were down by almost 20 per cent on an unadjusted basis," said Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O'Sullivan.
"However, on a seasonally adjusted basis, taking into account factors such as Christmas, sales volume was up 2.4 per cent. After hitting a new record high median house price in November, prices eased back in December."
December was a strong month for real estate sales in New Zealand, with the most transactions since 2007, and Auckland had its strongest December since 2006.
Across the different regions in Auckland, the residential property market displayed varying degrees of improvement.
North Shore property prices soared to an average of $575,000 in December from $550,000 a year earlier. This was up from $570,000 in November. Volumes had also increased during the year, from 297 houses sold in December 2010 to 391 last month, down from 431 in November.
In Waitakere prices were also up, rising to 234 sales at an average of $418,500 from 297 sales at $365,000 on average in December 2010. In November, 318 houses sold in Waitakere for an average price of $402,250.
Central Auckland had 602 houses sold for an average of $557,500 each in December, up from 456 sales at $500,000 a year earlier. Sales were stronger in November with 808 sales at $565,000 on average.
There were 317 houses sold in Manukau during December for an average price of $475,000, up from 295 sales at $455,000 a year earlier. In November there were 232 houses 423 houses sold in Manukau for an average of $484,000.
Rodney District was relatively flat from a year previously in December. There were 119 houses sold for an average of $433,000 last month compared to 89 sales at an average of $432,000 in December 2010. In November, there had been 119 homes sold in Rodney for $465,000 on average.