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Residential Property Market Prices go on to simmer

Residential Property Market Prices go on to simmer

Residential property prices went from a boil to a simmer during September, according the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

But several regions continued to show surges in median prices, with Wellington this month taking the limelight previously held by Auckland.

The national median price for September was $215,000, the same as in August.

“The Governor of the Reserve Bank Dr Alan Bollard can probably draw some satisfaction from the latest figures given his recent warnings, although it is ironic that prices continue to surge in his hometown,” the National President of the Real Estate Institute, Mr Graeme Woodley said today.

The Auckland median price showed a reduced rate of growth, rising from $315,000 in August to $319,000 in September, but it was Wellington which stood out with a six per cent rise in the median from $225,000 in August to the latest figure of $238,750 for September.

Other regions to show solid increases included Canterbury/Westland, up from $162,500 to $170,000 and Otago with an increase in the median selling price from $132,500 to $142,500.

“The market appears to be heeding Dr Bollard’s recent warnings including his third, last week; designed to take the steam out of the market by warning about the risk of debt traps. This trend towards stabilization in prices won’t harm the market and will provide a period of consolidation rather than any wholesale fall in prices.

“While there are always fluctuations in prices and care needs to be taken when making month-to-month comparisons, it is clear that the Southern property market is still very buoyant and possibly now catching up on the lead shown by markets in the upper half of the North Island earlier this year”, Mr Woodley said.

Total dwelling sales for the month confirmed the regional price trends, Mr Woodley said, with the total sales figure up slightly from 10,193 sales in August to 10,687 in September. Auckland sales eased from 3,642 in August to 3,553 in September while Wellington sales grew from 952 to 1,084, Canterbury/Westland sales were up from 1372 to 1400 and Otago, another region to show a median price increase, saw turnover up from 489 sales for the month to 566.

“The sales figures confirm that those markets with rising sales and strong prices remain buoyant while those with flattening sales, such as Auckland, are now heading into a consolidation period. To be honest it is probably not a bad thing that Auckland is being taken out of the ‘rising prices’ spotlight,” Mr Woodley said.

Around the regions, Northland’s median was up from $170,000 in August to $179,000 in September, which compared with the median of $169,000 in September 2002.

Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne region saw its median ease slightly from $180,000 in August to $178,500, still up on the September 2002 median of $168,750, while Hawkes Bay also eased from $167,000 in August to $163,700 in September. The Hawkes Bay median in September 2002 was $135,500. Manawatu/Wanganui’s median rose from $109,000 to $112,000 while Taranaki declined from $123,000 in August to $118,000.

Significantly, Nelson/Marlborough’s median selling price was down slightly from $238,000 to $235,100, which Mr Woodley said was interesting given the fact the Nelson had also been in the spotlight as being one of the fastest growing areas for house prices recently.

Southland was another area to show a decline with the median selling price down from $110,000 to $95,000 for September.

Among the major metropolitan centres there were a number of notable rises in medians with the North Shore showing another solid increase from $357,500 in August to $380,000 in September, Auckland City up from $380,000 to $405,000, Central Wellington up from $315,000 to $333,750, Western Wellington up from $285,000 to $353,000, and Eastern Wellington up from $337,000 to $380,000.

Further south, the Christchurch City median was up from $185,000 to $187,000 but City Central was down from $210,000 in August to $186,500, while North East Christchurch, Western/Inner Western/ Outer and North/West Inner all recorded easing prices.

In Otago, Dunedin City was up from $132,000 in August to $142,250 in September and Central Otago continued to underline its recent strong growth with a further increase from $295,000 in August to $302,500 in September, more than twice the September 2002 median of $137,500.

REINZ Market Report Regional Highlights: Northland: At $179,000, the median price for Northland in September gained on both August’s $170,000 median and the $169,000 median achieved the prior year. Sales also emulated this positive growth on both a monthly and yearly basis to reach 332 for the month, ahead of the 295 houses sold last month and the 217 sales achieved in September 2002.

The number of sections sold during the September period increased significantly with 91 sections changing hands at a median price of $116,000, in contrast to the 59 sections sold in August at a median $95,000.

Auckland: Auckland’s median price, of $319,000, during the month-long period demonstrated a marked improvement on both August’s $315,000 median and the median price of $273,000 recorded in September 2002. With 3,553 sales, the number of houses sold during the month eased in relation to the 3,642 sales in August, yet firmed in comparison to the prior September’s 2,799 sales.

The median price for the North Shore climbed to $380,000, a significant increase on the $357,500 median achieved in August and the $300,000 median price exhibited last year. However sales declined to 588, down from the previous month’s 721, but this represented positive growth when compared to the prior year’s 526 sales.

Waitakere recorded 503 sales during September, a decrease of seven on August’s 510, however this was a significant increase when compared to the 308 sales recorded during the same period last year. The median price, at $255,000, demonstrated strong upward growth on both last year’s $220,000 median and last month’s $244,750 median.

At $405,000, the median price for Auckland City peaked against the previous month’s $380,000 median and September 2002’s $305,500 median. Sales dropped to 1,054 for the month, down on the 1,178 sales achieved last month, while gaining against the prior year’s 1,035 sales.

Manukau’s sales during September increased to 837, well ahead of the prior month’s 639 result and the 522 sales achieved the previous year. The median price for the area rose to $313,000, an advance on August’s $311,500 median and the $284,400 median recorded in September of last year.

The median price for Papakura strengthened on both a monthly and yearly basis to reach $214,000, in contrast to the prior month’s $195,000 median and the $196,250 median achieved the prior year. Sales fell considerably to 101 for September, down from the 120 sales recorded in August, while remaining well ahead of last year’s 60 sales.

Metropolitan Auckland achieved 3,083 sales for September, in contrast to the 2,451 sales recorded last September and the 3,168 sales achieved the previous month. The median price, of $330,000, firmed in comparison to September 2002’s $280,000 median and the $325,000 median recorded last month.

Waikato / Bay of Plenty / Gisborne: At $178,500, the median price for the Waikato / Bay of Plenty / Gisborne area declined against August’s median price of $180,000; however this result demonstrated renewed strength when compared to September 2002’s $168,750 median. Sales for the region peaked to 1,796, as compared to the 1,176 sales achieved last year and the sales of 1,720 recorded in August.

A total of 280 sections changed hands during September for a median price of $77,000, a decrease in value when compared to the 228 sections sold at a median price of $79,250 last month.

Hawkes Bay: The volume of sales in the Hawkes Bay rose to 411 during the September period, a significant increase when compared to both last month’s 319 sales and last year’s 282 sales. In contrast, the median price dipped to $163,700 for the month, easing from the $167,000 reached in August, while demonstrating a positive outcome when compared to the prior year’s $135,500 median.

Sixteen sections were sold in September at a median price of $59,250, a noticeable decline on the 28 sections that changed hands in August at a median $75,500.

Manawatu / Wanganui: Manawatu / Wanganui’s median price for the month of September showed renewed growth to reach $112,000, well up on of August’s $109,000 median and the $106,500 median achieved the prior year. Sales also kept pace on both a monthly and yearly basis with 639 properties changing hands during September, an advance on both last September’s 338 sales and the 540 sales recorded the prior month.

A total of 49 sections changed hands during the September period for a median price of $52,000, in contrast to the 31 sections sold at a median $54,000 the prior month.

Taranaki: The number of houses sold in Taranaki increased to 260, a significant gain when compared to the 204 sales achieved in August and the 201 sales reached last September. In contrast, the median price for the area dipped to $118,000 for the month, down on the $123,000 median reached last month, but stood firm against the $106,000 median recorded in September of last year.

Twenty sections sold in Taranaki in September, equal with August’s 20 sales. However September’s median price at $58,250 surpassed August’s $43,000 median.

Wellington: At 1,084, sales in Wellington firmed against the 952 sales achieved the prior month, as well as last September’s 811 sales. The median price also gained new ground, advancing on both September 2002’s $204,000 median and the $225,000 median recorded in August.

The volume of sales for the Hutt Valley reached 214, a significant increase on both the previous month’s 194 sales and the 160 sales recorded the prior year. At $199,500, the median price firmed on the $173,000 median achieved last September while weakened in comparison to the $216,250 median achieved in August.

The median price for Northern Wellington, at $270,000, represented a vast improvement on the $225,000 median achieved in September 2002; however this result showed signs of easing against the $295,000 median recorded in August. Sales soared to 145 during September, well ahead of the 86 recorded last month and last year’s 114 sales.

Western Wellington’s median price continued its upward growth path to reach $353,000 for the month, a considerable increase on both last year’s $293,500 median and the prior month’s $285,000 median. Volume of sales kept pace at 59, ahead of the 53 sales recorded in September 2002 and the 45 sales achieved the prior month.

Sales for Southern Wellington continued to exhibit a positive trend to reach 72 for September, a significant advance on both August’s 42 sales and the 41 properties which changed hands last September. The median price soared on both monthly and yearly basis to $334,250 for the month, ahead of last month’s $321,294 median and the $265,000 median achieved in September 2002.

Eastern Wellington’s median continued to shine, reaching $380,000, in contrast to the $337,000 median outcome in August and the $311,000 achieved the prior year. Sales advanced to 55 for September, in contrast to the 47 sales achieved the previous month and the 40 sales recorded the prior year.

The volume of sales for Central Wellington, at 76, eased slightly against the 77 sales achieved in August, but firmed in comparison to the 59 sales recorded the prior year. The median price of $333,750 strengthened on both the $315,000 recorded the prior month and the $257,000 achieved last year.

Nelson / Marlborough: The number of houses sold in Nelson / Marlborough eased from the 317 sales exhibited last September and the 334 sales achieved last month to 310 sales for the month of September. The median price for the area dropped to $235,100, against August’s $238,000, but this result represented a considerable improvement when compared to the prior year’s $155,000 median.

Motueka’s volume of house sales dropped to 18 during the September period, a decrease when compared to last month’s 33 sales and the prior year’s sales of 27. At $225,000, the median price eased on August’s $235,000 median, but gained ground against the $155,000 median achieved last September.

The median price for the Marlborough Sounds soared to $434,000 for September, a significant advance on both the prior month’s $286,000 median and the $235,000 median achieved in September of last year. Six sales were recorded for the month, down on last year’s nine, and up four on the two properties which changed hands during August.

The number of houses sold in Nelson continued to maintain last month’s positive growth to reach 191 for the month, ahead of the 113 sales recorded the previous month and the 104 sales demonstrated in September 2002. The median price, of $266,500, dipped when compared to August’s $275,000 median, while strengthened against the $179,270 median recorded the prior year.

Canterbury / Westland: Canterbury / Westland’s median price soared to $170,000, surpassing both last month’s $162,500 median and the prior year’s $148,500 median. Sales also strengthened on both a monthly and yearly basis to 1,400 for the September period, ahead of the 1,372 sales achieved in August and the 1,005 sales reached in September 2002.

Christchurch City’s median price peaked to $187,000 for September, ahead of the $185,000 median recorded in August and the $156,750 median price achieved the previous year. The volume of sales, at 921, also increased on last year’s result of 710 sales and last month’s 894 recorded sales.

The City Central’s median price of $186,500 remained steady in relation to the $186,000 median exhibited the prior year, but declined considerably when compared to August’s $210,000 median price. Sales for the month eased to 29, a significant drop against last month’s 51 sales, but kept pace with the 18 sales recorded in September 2002.

Sales in North East Christchurch dipped to 73, a slight decrease when compared to the 77 sales recorded in September 2002, while gaining on the 64 sales achieved in August. The median price, of $184,500, eased from the $190,000 median recorded the prior month, but increased when compared to the $164,000 median outcome for last September.

The volume of sales for Riccarton/Upper Riccarton continued to climb to reach 42 for the month, an increase of eight on August’s 30 sales and up 17 on the 25 sales achieved in September 2002. At $172,500, the median price during September firmed against $165,000 median recorded in September 2002, while easing in comparison to the $186,000 median achieved the prior month.

The median price for the North Western Inner suburbs of Fendalton / Ilam / Merivale fell to $326,000, a decrease on the $332,000 median achieved in August, yet remained well above the $280,000 median recorded in September 2002. Sales for the month peaked to 80, up five from the 75 sales achieved last month and up 21 from the 59 sales achieved the previous year.

Otago: Otago’s 566 sales during September exhibited positive growth when compared to the prior month’s 489 sales and the 471 achieved the prior year. The median price peaked on both monthly and yearly terms to reach $142,500, ahead of September 2002’s $99,500 median price and the $132,500 median recorded the previous month.

Dunedin City recorded 360 sales for the September period, a steady increase when compared to August’s 313 sales and the 279 properties which changed hands the previous year. The median price soared to reach $142,250 during September, a significant advance on both the prior month’s $132,000 and the prior year’s median price at $106,000.

Central Otago’s median price strengthened on both a monthly and yearly basis to $302,500 for September, an improvement when compared to last month’s $295,000 median and last year’s $137,500 median. The number of houses sold, at 76, fell short of the 82 sold in September 2002, but increased by one on the 75 houses sold the prior month.

With 71 sales during September, North Otago surpassed both the previous month’s and year’s volume of sales (August 2003: 64; September 2002: 53). However the median price eased to $112,000, down from August’s $114,500 median, while gaining considerable ground in comparison to the $69,500 median recorded in September 2002.

South Otago’s sales climbed to 39 for the month, a slight improvement on the previous year’s 37 sales and a considerable increase when compared to the 19 sales recorded in August. The median price continued to decline, down from the prior year’s $65,000 median and the prior month’s median price at $56,500, to $51,036 for September.

The volume of sales in East Otago at 20 remained equal with the previous year’s results and increased by two on the prior month’s 18 sales. At $84,500, the median price remained favourable when compared to last year’s $67,500 median, but decreased in comparison to the prior month’s $98,000 median.

Southland: At $95,000, the median price for the September period declined when compared to the previous month’s $110,000 median, but firmed against the $79,250 median achieved last September. Sales increased to 336 for the month, up from both the 326 sales achieved in both August and September last year.

A total of 62 sections were sold in September at a median price of $141,500, down slightly when compared to the 60 sections sold last month at a median of $142,500.

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