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House Prices Continue Record-breaking Streak Despite Market Activity Cooling Off

The average asking price for a house in New Zealand reached an all-time high of $815,700 in April, increasing by 16 per cent in the past year despite slowing demand and supply, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.

Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said following months of “intense” activity in the market, April was yet another record breaker. “We’ve seen the national average asking price reach a new all-time high every month since September and this continued in April, marking the eighth record-breaking month in a row.”

Mr Lloyd said prices increased in every region across the country in April when compared with the same month last year. “Manawatū/Whanganui (27%), Marlborough (25%), and Wellington (21%) saw the biggest year-on-year price increases.

“Twelve out of New Zealand’s fifteen regions had a record-breaking month, with Nelson/Tasman, Northland, and Otago being the only places to buck the trend.”

Despite prices continuing to climb, Mr Lloyd said the property market showed some signs of slowing down last month. “As the weather began to cool down, so did the property market, with the number of views on for sale listings down 10 per cent in April when compared with the month prior. This is quite typical of the property market at this time of year as both buyers and sellers tend to stay put and wait for the winter months to pass.

“In fact, demand was down in every region last month when compared with March, with the biggest drops in West Coast (-15%), Manawatū/Whanganui (-14%) and Wellington (-14%).”

Mr Lloyd said market supply followed suit, also dropping by 8 per cent nationwide month-on-month. “If we see demand and supply continue to tail off, we might also see prices decelerate but this will take some time after such a long period of growth.”

Wellington prices grow 21 per cent year-on-year

The average asking price in the Wellington region reached an all-time high of $845,450 in April, a ‘staggering’ 21 per cent increase on the same month last year - the biggest annual percentage increase on record for the region.

“After a record-breaking annual price growth of 20 per cent in March, April’s 21 per cent jump showed that house prices in Wellington are still going strong.

“Wellington City came in as the most expensive district in the region, with a record average asking price of $936,200.”

Most expensive districts in the Wellington region - April 2021

 DistrictAverage asking price - 
April 2021
1Wellington City$936,200* 
3Kapiti Coast$841,750*

*new record

Mr Lloyd said supply and demand in Wellington followed the national trend with demand in the Wellington region down 14 per cent month-on-month, while supply was down 5 per cent.

“The most popular house in the region in April was a two-bedroom unit on Lavaud Street, Berhampore, with an asking price of $545,000. It received 358 watchlists in its first two days onsite.”

Auckland region sees a record-breaking month

The average asking price in the Auckland region was $1,074,550 in April, an 11 per cent increase on the same month last year, and a new record high. “Looking at Auckland City, the average asking price was $1,184,950, up 6 per cent on the same month last year.”

Most expensive districts in the Auckland region - April 2021

 DistrictAverage asking price - 
April 2021
2North Shore City$1,268,500*
3Auckland City$1,207,600*

*new record

“This put Auckland City in third place behind the two most expensive districts in the region, Waiheke ($1,799,750) and North Shore City ($1,268,500).”

Mr Lloyd said demand in the Auckland region was down by 9 per cent month-on-month. “Supply was also down 8 per cent when compared with March.

“The most popular property listing in the Auckland region last month was a three-bedroom house with an asking price of $2,800,000 on Wilding Avenue, Northcote Point. It received 275 watchlists in its first 48 hours onsite.”

Regional markets show signs of slowing

Mr Lloyd said supply and demand saw a downturn in every region last month when compared with March. “Right around the country we saw a month-on-month decrease in listing views and watchlists as the market entered a traditionally quieter period of the year.”

The biggest drops in market supply last month were seen in Northland and Otago. “Both regions saw an 11 per cent drop in the number of properties listed onsite in April when compared with March. Unlike the rest of the country, in Northland and Otago this had an impact on prices, as these were two of the only regions that didn't see an all-time high average asking price last month.”

Despite seeing one of the largest drops in demand last month, Manawatū/Whanganui (-14%) continued its record-breaking streak. “April marked the 17th month in a row we have seen an all-time high average asking price in the region.”

Small, medium, and large-sized house prices reach new high

Record highs were seen for houses of all sizes last month. “The biggest increase was seen for medium-sized houses (3-4 bedrooms), followed by small houses (1-2 bedrooms).”

Urban property prices see year-on-year increase across the board

Apartments and units both had a record-breaking April, seeing new national high average asking prices. “Despite seeing the largest year-on-year increase of all urban properties, townhouses were the only type to not see a new high average asking price last month.”

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