House prices con­tinue rise

Otago Daily Times - - BUSINESS & MONEY - SI­MON HART­LEY si­mon.hart­ley@odt.co.nz

ME­DIAN house prices in Otago and Dunedin con­tin­ued to climb dur­ing May, but Queen­stown Lakes booked a 7% de­cline to $820,000, be­ing over­taken by Wanaka prices for the first time in more than a year.

New Zealand prices over­all gained $27,000 to hit a record $562,000.

The Clutha dis­trict was a stand­out re­gion south of the Waitaki in May, prices leap­ing al­most 25% to $190,000, while the num­ber of houses sold there rose from just 15 in April to 42 in May, Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of New Zealand data shows.

Wider Dunedin city, in­clud­ing Mos­giel, Taieri and Waik­ouaiti hit a record $409,000.

The me­dian house price in Wanaka rose 0.5% to $865,000.

Wanaka’s $865,000 was its fifth­high­est me­dian price, $900,000 hav­ing been struck in June 2016.

While the num­ber of houses sold na­tion­ally in May rose 1.3%, from 7482 a year ago to 7578, sev­eral re­gions booked de­clines, Tas­man fall­ing 16.9%, Marl­bor­ough down 10.4%, Otago down 7.4% and North­land de­creas­ing 6.6%.

REINZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Bindi Nor­well said while 2017 saw only year­on­year vol­ume de­creases na­tion­ally, it was pos­i­tive that in 2018 the num­ber of prop­er­ties sold had in­creased year on year for four out of the first five months of the year.

‘‘Fur­ther sup­port­ing this pos­i­tive out­look is that across the coun­try nine out of 16 re­gions saw a year­onyear in­crease in the num­ber of prop­er­ties sold, with four of those re­gions ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dou­ble­digit growth,’’ Ms Nor­well said.

Those four were Nel­son (up 25.3%), West Coast (up 20.9%), Gis­borne (up 15.8%) and Hawke’s Bay (up 12.5%).

Sales in Dunedin and Queen­stown for the rest of win­ter are ex­pected to be ‘‘pretty con­stant’’ and ‘‘steady’’, com­men­ta­tors say.

REINZ re­gional com­men­

ta­tor in Dunedin Liz Nidd said Dunedin sales num­bers ‘‘have re­mained pretty con­stant’’ head­ing into win­ter.

‘‘First­home buy­ers are be­com­ing more or­gan­ised with their fund­ing, due to banks be­ing tough with lend­ing,’’ Mrs Nidd said.

Be­cause rental re­turns re­mained high in Dunedin, in­vestors were still in­ter­ested in the mar­ket, she said in a state­ment.

She noted ‘‘home and in­come’’ prop­er­ties were still ‘‘in­cred­i­bly sought af­ter’’.

REINZ re­gional di­rec­tor in Queen­stown Gail Hud­son said while Wanaka prices had in­creased 0.5% to $865,000, prices had oth­er­wise soft­ened across Ar­row­town, Queen­stown and Wakatipu.

‘‘There’s still strong in­ter­est in the area and a good num­ber of of cash buy­ers around,’’ Mrs Hud­son said.

She ex­pected the mar­ket in Queen­stown Lakes would ‘‘re­main steady’’ over the com­ing win­ter months.

PHOTO: RICHARD DAV­I­SON

Big jump . . . Me­dian house prices gained al­most 25% in the Clutha dis­trict last month; pic­tured, Bal­clutha yes­ter­day.

Bindi Nor­well

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