Auckland house prices rise in July as new listings jump

The average sale price rose 0.7% to $654,379 last month, adding to a 0.8% gain in June, Barfoot & Thompson says.

Auckland house prices rose for a third month in July as listings and sales jumped, according to Barfoot & Thompson, the city's biggest realtor.

The average sale price rose 0.7 percent to $654,379 last month, adding to a 0.8 percent gain in June, the firm says. The median price fell to $585,000 from $590,000.

A shortage of new homes in New Zealand's biggest city has spurred the government to introduce legislation that would fast-track developments and create special housing areas, while at the same time the central bank is finalising measures to curb high loan-to-value mortgage lending because of the risks a heated housing market poses to the stability of the financial system.

Barfoot says new listings jumped 37 percent last month. It sold 1133 homes in July, up almost 7 percent from June and up 13.5 percent from July 2012.

At the end of last month, the agency had 2837 properties on its books, which was 29 percent lower than in the same month last year and an all-time low for available listings.