New high for Auckland house prices
Auckland's housing market ended last year on a record high, sales figures from real estate firm Barfoot & Thompson show.
The average sale price of a home was $700,387 last month, up 12.2 per cent from $624,000 in December 2012.
The median or mid-ranged price last month was $629,000, a 14.3 per cent increase on the December 2012 median of $550,500.
Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said seasonal trends that traditionally saw higher-value properties traded had not been offset by recent Reserve Bank changes.
In October, the central bank introduced "speed limits" that restrict the value of mortgages banks are allowed to lend to customers with low equity.
Barfoot & Thompson last month sold 817 residential properties, which was down on December 2012 but still the second-best December in the past 10 years.
"The year ended with lack of choice again becoming an issue, with new listings for December at 631," Thompson said.
"At month's end we had 2969 listings on our books."
He said that with listings restricted and buyer demand remaining strong, the Auckland market would probably have a strong first quarter.