Auck­land­house prices hit an­other record high

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - SU­SAN EDMUNDS

A drop in turnover has led to a slight eas­ing in national me­dian house prices but Auck­land has hit an­other record high, data from the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute (REINZ) shows.

The national me­dian price dropped $5000 from Septem­ber to $510,000 in Oc­to­ber. It was up 11 per cent year-on-year.

But four re­gions, in­clud­ing Auck­land, re­ported record high me­dian prices in the month.

Auck­land’s me­dian rose 16 per cent year-on-year to $868,000 – up $119,750 over the year.

That is up 5 per cent on Septem­ber.

North­land, Waikato/Bay of Plenty and South­land also hit record me­dian highs.

But the num­ber of sales in the month was down 9 per cent from Septem­ber to 6727. Yearon-year that was a 14 per cent drop na­tion­ally and a 16 per cent drop in Auck­land.

REINZ spokesman Bryan Thom­son said the lower end of the Auck­land market was tak­ing a hit from the loan-to­value re­stric­tions in­tro­duced re­cently.

In­vestors now have to have a 40 per cent de­posit to buy.

‘‘[There has been] a surge in the per­cent­age of sales over $1mil­lion and a no­tice­able de­cline in the num­ber of sales be­low $400,000 com­pared to 12 months ago.

‘‘Some of this change may be re­flec­tive of the over­all up­lift in prices over the past year as the market for higher-priced prop­er­ties is con­tin­u­ing as nor­mal, but the market for low­er­priced prop­er­ties is be­com­ing more dif­fi­cult for both buy­ers and sell­ers,’’ he said.

‘‘There is some ev­i­dence that the nor­mal spring ‘bounce’ in the num­ber of list­ings has so far been quite weak this year.

‘‘One pos­si­ble rea­son for this is that the re­vised rules could be mak­ing it harder for peo­ple to know whether to sell, as they won­der if there are buy­ers about, so they hold their prop­er­ties back from the market.

‘‘This could have the re­sult that we’re see­ing, which is that sup­ply falls but the de­mand is still there, so prices keep ris­ing.’’

QV national spokes­woman An­drea Rush agreed, say­ing ear­lier this month, that the lat­est round of LVR re­stric­tions were be­gin­ning to have an ef­fect.

How­ever, the new build market re­mained strong through­out the coun­try, as the LVR re­stric­tions for in­vestors did not ap­ply to new homes, Rush said.

Hamilton and Bay of Plenty have re­ported turnover drop­ping by a quar­ter.

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