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House prices in the provinces reach half-a-million-dollars

The average asking price for a house in the regions outside New Zealand’s three largest metropolitan areas has hit the half-a-million-dollar mark for the first time, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said the average asking price outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch had grown 6.8 per cent in the last year to reach $502,950. “This is off the back of recent solid growth in Hawke’s Bay (up 15.1 per cent), Manawatu/Whanganui (up 14.4 per cent) and Marlborough (up 14.1 per cent), but almost all the regions have seen excellent growth in the last 12 months - and many hit record asking prices in March.

“This is the first time we’ve seen the average house price in the provinces reach $500,000. While the dip in the Auckland housing market has been making headlines, our property market is still very strong outside the overheated market in the Super City.”

Across New Zealand, the average asking price rose 1.7 per cent on last month to $636,650. Mr Jeffries said this relatively slow growth was linked to the Auckland dip. “Auckland makes up a substantial part of our property market and it fell back year-on-year for the first time in a long time, and this has muted the national figure.”

Buyer demand cooling

“While prices in the provinces have been running hot, buyer demand across New Zealand appears to be cooling off,” Mr Jeffries said. “The average number of views on property listings was down 1.6 per cent on March 2017 and this drop in demand may be an indication that buyers are retreating as growing prices push them out of the market.”

Records in the regions

Property prices in the Hawke’s Bay topped the table with a 15 per cent annual increase to reach an average asking price of $519,950. Manawatu/Whanganui also showed strong growth, climbing 14.4 per cent on last year to a record $334,600 and property prices in Marlborough grew 14.1 per cent to a new high of $483,300.

Waikato reached a new high of $548,650, up 7.3 per cent on the year prior and Taranaki broke through the $400,000 mark for the first time to reach $409,150, climbing 5.5 per cent.

Mr Jeffries said the only regions to fall in March were Auckland (down 0.7 per cent) and the West Coast (down 13.6 per cent).

Auckland house prices stall
Mr Jeffries said Auckland was bucking the national trend after the average asking price fell 0.7 per cent on last year to $912,500.

“Buyers will be pleased to hear the Auckland property market has stalled for a second consecutive month, and with a 4 per cent increase in the number of properties for sale, it’s a good time for first home buyers trying to get a foot on the ladder.”

Wellington powers on

Mr Jeffries said property prices in the Wellington region “charged on” in March, climbing 1.7 per cent on February and up 5.8 per cent on last year to a new record of $571,850.

He said it remained tough for first home buyers in the capital. “Along with rising prices, prospective buyers are also facing less stock after the number of listings fell 10 per cent on March 2017.

“Homeowners in the capital, on the other hand, will be pleased. The Wellington property market has really taken off over the past five years, climbing nearly 40 per cent or $136,650 since 2008,” he added.

Record house prices outside Auckland

Asking prices outside Auckland reached new highs for all house sizes in March with large houses (5+ bedrooms) showing solid year-on-year growth of 13.7 per cent to $836,700.

Mr Jeffries said large houses (5+ bedrooms) in Wellington reached yet another record of $1,006,850 in March following significant annual growth of 22.7 per cent.

Urban properties outside Auckland hit new high

Mr Jeffries said urban properties (apartments, townhouses and units) outside Auckland scaled new heights in March, climbing 1.4 per cent on February to a record asking price of $407,750.

He said units were becoming increasingly popular, particularly for first home buyers. Units outside Auckland are now more expensive than ever, climbing 4.7 per cent on last year to a record $331,050.


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