‘Eye-pop­ping’ North house price rises


Cara Ru­fus-El­lis has watched anx­iously as house prices soared over re­cent years.

She and her fam­ily moved to North­land from Aus­tralia four years ago.

They would like to be able to buy a home but the heat in the mar­ket shocked her.

‘‘I wouldn’t have been sur­prised if it was in Auck­land but I never would have thought Whangarei would get as high as it is.’’

Ru­fus-El­lis re­cently started her own busi­ness and her hus­band re­ceives a stu­dent al­lowance, so money is tight.

Now, she’s hop­ing that signs Auck­land’s prop­erty prices are cool­ing might spread fur­ther afield.

Trade Me’s Prop­erty Price In­dex shows the aver­age ask­ing price in New Zealand’s big­gest city dipped to $895,000 in Jan­uary, the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive monthly de­crease.

Head of Trade Me Prop­erty Nigel Jeffries said Auck­land’s aver­age ask­ing price dropped 1.5 per cent in Jan­uary, and it was the first back-to- back monthly de­crease since June 2012.

But buy­ers in other parts of the coun­try are not in luck yet.

‘‘The Waikato re­gion smashed its own record aver­age ask­ing price this month, hit­ting $511,750. That’s a stag­ger­ing in­crease of more than $100,000 in the past 12 months.’’

The aver­age ask­ing price in Waikato has soared by 43 per cent since Jan­uary 2012. North­land’s aver­age is up 20.9 per cent.

For the whole of New Zealand, ex­clud­ing Auck­land, the aver­age ask­ing price was up 0.2 per cent to $475,700 since De­cem­ber.

Jeffries said, out­side Auck­land, the NZ prop­erty mar­ket re­mained ex­tremely strong and the aver­age ask­ing price around the coun­try was up 11.4 per cent over the last year, amount­ing to a $48,500 in­crease since Jan­uary 2016.

Six pow­er­house re­gions re­ported strong dou­ble-digit in­creases in aver­age ask­ing price: North­land, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Nel­son, Welling­ton and Otago.

Jeffries said the dol­lar in­creases for each of these re­gions were ‘‘eye-pop­ping’’.

‘‘When you look at the jumps around the coun­try you can un­der­stand the Kiwi pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with in­vest­ing in prop­erty - the in­crease in ex­pec­ta­tions over just 12 months has been in­cred­i­ble.’’

Auck­land prices may be cool­ing.

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