Waikato property prices continue to increase
Homes in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty are among six regions in New Zealand that have hit record high median prices.
The details come from a new report which also shows Auckland continues to be the least affordable part of the country to buy a house, closely followed by Central Otago Lakes.
However the gap in affordability between Auckland and Central Otago and the rest of New Zealand - 62 per cent and 61 per cent - is reaching ‘‘unprecedented’’ levels, a report by Massey University says.
Senior property lecturer and report author Susan FlintHartle said demand continued to drive median house prices up, making entry into the Auckland market a challenge.
‘‘The median house price in Auckland is now 13.5 times median annual household income, which will continue to place strain on first home buyers in our largest city.’’
Affordability in Central Otago Lakes - which covers Queenstown and Wanaka - declined by about 21 per cent during the past year, the largest drop for any region in New Zealand.
‘‘The decline in affordability in Central Otago Lakes is exacerbated by the booming tourism industry putting stress on the supply of affordable housing,’’ Flint-Hartle said.
While most of the country has shown ‘‘modest improvements in affordability’’ during the past year - largely due to low interest rates - the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region is on par with Central Otago in becoming less affordable over the same period.
This report comes as REINZ released its latest figures showing the national median house price hit a record high of $515,000.
Six regions hit record median highs including Northland ($390,000), Waikato/Bay of Plenty ($458,500), Taranaki ($350,000), Wellington ($480,000), Nelson/Marlborough ($450,000) and Otago ($296,000).
Prices outside of Auckland hit a record median high of $400,000.
Auckland’s median price has risen 7 per cent year-on-year to $825,000, although it dipped 2 per cent on August.
The number of sales nationwide for September also fell 2 per cent on August.
Nationwide sales volumes also fell 10 per cent compared to September 2015, with sales for Auckland falling 23 per cent in the City of Sails.
Kelvin Heights, Queenstown.