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Property market cools in the heat of summer

After a hot few months, the New Zealand property market cooled in January with the national average asking price falling 1.7 per cent on December to $629,800, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.
Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said Auckland was experiencing a more significant slowdown than the rest of the country after the average asking price fell 3.3 per cent on December to $911,250, landing $30,000 below December’s record high.

“Kiwis trying to get a foot on the Auckland property ladder will be breathing a small sigh of relief that the rate of growth has eased as the Reserve Bank’s LVR restrictions slow the market right down.

Mr Jeffries said homeowners don’t need to panic though. “There is still strong demand for properties and we’ve seen the average number of views jump 13.4 per cent in the Super City and increase by 15.9 per cent countrywide compared to a year ago,” he said.

Wellington powers on
Mr Jeffries said that for the fourth consecutive month the average asking price in Wellington reached a record high as growing interest put pressure on prices.

“While the Auckland property market stalled in January, Wellington continued to power on with the average number of views up a solid 21.4 per cent on last year. In the capital, the average asking price was up 10.8 per cent on last January to another record at $570,200.”

Mr Jeffries said it was “still a tough time” for first home buyers in the capital and they are having to dig deep into their pockets to secure the house they want.

“The Wellington property market has experienced significant growth over the last five years, climbing 41 per cent and earning homeowners a hefty $166,100 since January 2013,” he added.

Around the regions
Mr Jeffries said the regions were a mixed bag in January. Six regions kicked off the New Year with a bang to reach record average asking prices in January. On the flipside, the average asking price in the West Coast and Gisborne dipped.

“Otago led the pack in January pack after the average asking price rose 11.5 per cent year-on-year to a new high of $535,350. If we look back five years, we can see massive changes in the Otago property market with property prices soaring nearly 59 per cent since January 2013. “

Hawke’s Bay reported an annual increase of 11.4 per cent to rise to a new record high of $512,500. Northland climbed 6.3 per cent to $550,750, Bay of Plenty jumped 6.1 per cent to $610,200, and Nelson increased 5.2 per cent to $583,350.

Mr Jeffries said there was still fierce demand for property in the North Island. “Property in Gisborne received 51 per cent more views than last January, followed by a 39 per cent increase in views on property in Northland, and Wanganui properties had 36 per cent more views than last year.”

Small and medium houses popular
Small (1-2 bedrooms) and medium (3-4 bedrooms) houses continue to be the most popular house type across the country and particularly outside the Super City, Mr Jeffries said.

“Small houses outside Auckland reached a record high in January following an annual increase of 8.6 per cent to $357,150. Medium houses outside Auckland also experienced strong growth over the past year, rising 6.6 per cent to $521,750.
“Unsurprisingly, Wellington is leading the charge with all house sizes showing significant annual increases, and a record high for medium-sized houses.”

Urban properties a mixed bag
Urban properties (apartments, townhouses and units) across New Zealand remained relatively unchanged on last January, experiencing a miniscule 0.6 per cent drop in average asking price.
Mr Jeffries said there was good growth for townhouses in Wellington which were up 14.6 per cent to $530,900 and a sharp dip in the average asking price for apartments in Christchurch which fell 18.9 per cent to $362,500.

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