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12 Apr 2013

How do NZ House Prices Compare with other Countrie

Have you ever wondered how much your New Zealand home is worth in other countries? While it is important to analyse changes in local prices on their own terms, it is always interesting to sneak a peak over the fence and see just how the other half live. The Guardian in the United Kingdom recently published their Fantasy Property Finder, which analyses and compares house prices around the world as the global market begins to slowly recover.

According to the latest data from Quotable Value's property value index, New Zealand house values are the highest they have been in seven years. Values are up 3.3 percent from the previous market peak of late 2007, which is a 6.5 percent increase over the last 12 months and a 1.3 percent increase over the last three months.

According to other figures released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), the national median house price rose 8.1 percent in March compared to March 2012, reaching a new record high of $400,000. NZ$400,000 is the current equivalent of US$343,000 or 223,000 GBP, with most experts forecasting a high NZ dollar for the foreseeable future.

According to the Fantasy Property Finder, NZ$400,000 will get you a 1-bedroom detached villa in Mendoza, Argentina; a 3-bedroom apartment in Varna, Bulgaria; or a 4-bedroom farm house in Brittany, France. Perhaps you would prefer a 1-bedroom apartment in Barbados, Caribbean; a 4-bedroom house in Randburg, South Africa; or even a 40-room hotel in Veliko Rarnovo, Bulgaria.

Auckland prices would get you more real estate overseas, with March results setting a new median record of $562,000 for the city. While high prices are leading to a market slowdown in some locations, overall national sales volume is still high. According to REINZ, 8,128 houses sold in March, which is a 23 percent increase from February and an 11 percent increase from March 2012. In a record statistic, 1,793 houses sold by auction in March, representing 22 percent of all sales.

According to Chief Executive of REINZ, Helen O’Sullivan, price levels in some areas are having a disproportionate impact on national prices. "Analysis by REINZ shows that 90% of the increase in the median price between March 2012 and March 2013 of $30,000 came from just two regions, Auckland and Canterbury/Westland. Together these two regions represent 52% of national house sales, indicating that the remaining 10% of the increase came from the remaining 10 regions which cover 84% of New Zealand geographically." said O'Sullivan.

While high property values in this little corner of the world are causing understandable concern in some quarters, it is interesting to see how current prices measure up on an international level. Whether you are looking for investment opportunities, emigration purposes, or simply because you are curious, the average New Zealand home has never translated better on the international market.