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Milford has fastest-growing house prices in Auckland

Milford has fastest-growing house prices in Auckland, Epsom, Sandringham, follow, Barfoot says

By Jonathan Underhill

Sept. 14 (BusinessDesk) - Milford has the fastest-growing house prices, based on Barfoot & Thompson data, and was one of five suburbs where the median prices topped $1 million.

Auckland's biggest realtor said Milford led the top 20 suburbs with a 46 percent jump to $1.16 million in the median house price in the six months between February and July this year compared to the same period of 2014.

Epsom had the second-biggest increase, of about 43 percent, taking the median price to $1.7 million, while Sandringham was third with a 41 percent jump to $981,000 and was one of three suburbs "long tipped as up and coming" to make the fastest-growing list. Of the other two, Sunnynook was in fourth place, with a 39 percent gain to $681,500 and Te Atatu Peninsula was fifth, with a 35 percent increase to $619,000. Five of the top 20 were on the North Shore.

The average price growth for the top 20 suburbs was 35.8 percent, exceeding the 24 percent rate for Auckland suburbs as a whole.

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler said last week that rising house prices in Auckland "are becoming more unsustainable" and that it would take some time for increasing construction to "correct the imbalances." Strong migrant flows into the city were being compounded by an increase in activity by investors, who now accounted for 41 percent of the market, up from 38 percent two years ago. The house price-to-income ratio for Auckland put it among the top 10 most expensive cities in the world, he said.

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Tax changes on property investment, the imposition of a 'bright line' test and tighter loan-to-value ratio lending rules for the city would all help to moderate the Auckland market, "but it is very difficult to pick the turning point," Wheeler said.

Barfoot managing director Peter Thompson said it was unlikely that the "hot spots" identified in his firm's latest list would continue to experience the same pace of growth, although those with good schools, transport links and close to beaches would remain attractive.

He said Milford and Epsom were holding their ground "thanks to a perfect mix of location, good transport links, sought-after school zones, quality infrastructure and lifestyle aspects."

Quotable Value figures released this month showed national property values advanced 11 percent in the 12 months through August to an average $543,331, while values in Auckland jumped 20.4 percent over the same period to $874,851.


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