More de­mand for prop­erty files

HB house prices now back to record lev­els

CHB Mail - - News -

Cen­tral Hawke’s Bay’s prop­erty buy­ers are be­ing asked to call ahead if they want to in­spect prop­erty files at the dis­trict coun­cil.

The coun­cil says in­creased de­mand in CHB prop­er­ties has led to high de­mand for view­ing prop­erty files.

“As a staff mem­ber has to be present dur­ing the view­ing we ask that peo­ple please call ahead and make a book­ing with our con­sents team.

“We will en­deav­our to make our­selves avail­able when peo­ple come in for a prop­erty view­ing but may not al­ways be able to pro­vide this ser­vice if there is no book­ing.”

The re­quest comes as Hawke’s Bay house prices are back to record lev­els.

Lat­est data from the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute shows the re­gion’s me­dian house price was $445,000 last month — back to the same level as the re­gion’s all­time high me­dian, recorded in March.

“The mar­ket con­tin­ues to track in the same man­ner it has been do­ing for the last cou­ple of months, with a mar­ket that is con­strained by un­der­sup­ply,” REINZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Bindi Nor­well said.

“We see a lower num­ber of cash buy­ers, com­pared with the pre­vi­ous month. Hawke’s Bay again has the se­cond-low­est in­ven­tory level across the coun­try with only eight weeks’ sup­ply avail­able.”

How­ever, while prices in Cen­tral Hawke’s Bay are up 24 per cent on the same pe­riod last year, and Napier’s prices are 13.5 per cent higher, prices in Hast­ings are just 0.5 per cent up on Au­gust 2017.

Hast­ings’ me­dian price last month was $54,000 down on the dis­trict’s all-time me­dian high of $456,000, in De­cem­ber 2017.

Ray White Hast­ings manag­ing di­rec­tor Elanor MacDon­ald said the lack of avail­able list­ings in Hast­ings was the rea­son the dis­trict was lag­ging be­hind in terms of the me­dian in­creases from last Au­gust.

“Hast­ings’ stock is so low in terms of the mar­ket, there’s just not a lot of houses avail­able.

“The av­er­age sale price has ac­tu­ally gone up from $430,000 to $460,000 from last year — it’s just the me­dian that’s low.

“We are to­tally con­strained by a lack of list­ings, es­pe­cially at the lower end of the mar­ket. There are very few list­ings up to $400,000 in that first-time buyer bracket.”

Just 86 houses were sold in Hast­ings last month, com­pared with 104 in Napier.

About half the dis­trict’s 140 or so ex­ist­ing list­ings were in Have­lock North, rather than Hast­ings city.

MacDon­ald said moves to build two new re­tire­ment vil­lages in Hast­ings and Have­lock North could help un­block the sup­ply chain for Hast­ings.

“Houses ei­ther need to be built but the most likely area is we have quite a lot of peo­ple who would just about like to buy into a re­tire­ment vil­lage — ei­ther who aren’t quite old enough or they are al­ready on a wait­ing list.

“Things will loosen up when we start to see those re­tire­ment vil­lages start to open. A lot of those peo­ple still live in their fam­ily homes — and that’s the next step for a first-time buyer. That’s the house they would be buy­ing but it’s not on the mar­ket, so they can’t move.” Har­courts Hawke’s Bay gen­eral man­ager James Cooper also cited sup­ply is­sues.

“The fact that Hast­ings had min­i­mal move­ment in the me­dian price com­pared to Au­gust last year, and the fact that it was well down on July 2018, re­flects the num­ber of prop­er­ties in the first home or in­vestor cat­e­gory that have come onto the mar­ket and sold.

“That’s be­cause the me­dian price re­flects the price of the ‘mid-point’ in the range of houses sold.” Tre­mains manag­ing di­rec­tor Si­mon Tre­main said the rea­sons be­hind steep rises in CHB, where the me­dian price is $310,000, re­flected the ap­peal of affordability and CHB be­ing close to Have­lock North and Hast­ings.

“There’s no doubt that there is a bit of a south­ern drift to peo­ple buy­ing down there. There’s lots more peo­ple on that road now trav­el­ling to work.” Tre­main said there was noth­ing in the mar­ket to in­di­cate any fu­ture slow-down.

“The con­cern is about sup­ply, it’s not about de­mand — so that only pushes prices one way,” he said.

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