First-home buyers are moving quickly to secure properties before loan-to-value restrictions kick in, the Real Estate Institute says.
Its latest data shows that there were 6777 residential property sales in July, up 14.7% on the same time last year and more than 10% higher than in June.
The national median price dropped $9000 from June, to $385,000.
REINZ chief executive Helen O’Sullivan said it was the most active winter the market had seen for some time.
“The normal winter slowdown hasn’t happened this year, with volumes up strongly on July last year despite school holidays occurring in the middle of the month.”
July is usually the quietest month but agents were reporting first-home buyers wanting to secure loans before the rules changed, she said.
It was the busiest July in six years.
Auckland’s median house price was $552,000 in July, down slightly from June.
O’Sullivan said issues of housing supply were spreading to other parts of the country.
Nine regions recorded an increase in sales volume compared to July last year. Waikato/Bay of Plenty reported a 29.1% increase in turnover, followed by Northland with 23.1%.
Otago recorded a new record median price of $266,778. Compared to 2012, Nelson/Marlborough reported the biggest price increase, of 14.6%.
Canterbury/Westland reported the shortest days to sell, at 28.
Just over 20% of the houses sold nationally went under the hammer and about three-quarters of Auckland's sales were by auction.
The total value of residential sales in July was $3.31 billion across the country, compared to $3.06 billion in June. Just over 5% of the sales were in the $1 million-plus price bracket.