This was slightly higher than a revised 7.9 percent for April, the bank’s household and property sector strategist John Loos said in a statement.
“The solid performance of the housing market in recent times appears to go somewhat against economic fundamentals which are currently very weak,” he said.
Real house price growth, which was when house prices were adjusted for consumer price inflation, came in at 1.73 percent year-on-year in April. May’s consumer price index (CPI) was not yet available, said Loos.
This represented a slight slowing from a revised 1.9 percent real price growth in March. This was due in part to the pace of CPI inflation having quickened from six percent in March to 6.1 percent in April, he said.
“While the 8.1 percent May house price growth rate was slightly up from the prior month’s 7.9 percent, we don’t read too much into such a mild acceleration,” said Loos.
“The broader picture in house price growth appears to be one of settling around the eight percent mark in recent months…”
He said during May some key frequency economic indicators continued to suggest a possible slowdown in the rate of increase in house prices in the not too distant future.