Statistics NZ said today the consumers price index (CPI) increased 2.2% in the year to the March quarter. That’s the biggest annual increase since the September 2011 quarter, the last quarter affected by the rise in gst from 12.5% to 15%.
Housing-related prices rose 3.3%. Prices increased for newly built houses excluding land (up 6.7%) and for rentals (up 2.3%). Newly built houses, excluding land, were up 8.0% in Auckland and 3.6% in Christchurch.
Transport prices (up 3.5%) made the second largest upward contribution. Petrol was up 12%, but partially offset by falls in other private transport services (vehicle relicensing fees).
Statistics NZ prices senior manager Jason Attewell said: “Rising petrol prices, along with the annual rise in cigarette & tobacco tax, lifted inflation. Petrol prices in New Zealand are closely linked to global oil prices, and cigarettes & tobacco taxes rise in the March quarter each year.”
For the March quarter, CPI inflation rose 1%, following a 0.4% rise in the December quarter.
Rents increased 0.8% in the quarter as 84% of the sample showed no price change. Auckland rents showed a 0.7% rise.
Auckland house price index still high, rising nationally
Statistics NZ’s index on house purchase prices in Auckland rose sharply from a 5.9% annual gain in the first quarter of 2015 to peak in the third quarter with an 8.5% rise, dropped to a 7.2% gain in the December 2015 quarter then climbed again over the next year to 8.2% in the December 2016 quarter. In the year to the March 2017 quarter, the gain was less, but still 8.0%.
Nationally, the house purchase price index has been rising – with occasionally lower gains – since the second quarter of 2014, when the gain was 4.6% over the same quarter a year earlier.
In the March 2016 quarter, the national gain was 5%/year. Since then, it’s climbed to 5.6%, 6.3%, 6.5% and, in the latest quarter, 6.7% compared to a year earlier.
Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.