Strong house price ex­pec­ta­tions spread

The Hastings Mail - - WHAT’S ON - CATHER­INE HAR­RIS

Av­er­age ask­ing prices for prop­er­ties have hit the half a mil­lion dol­lar mark for the first time out­side the three main cities, Trade Me says.

House prices out­side the main cities grew 6.8 per cent in the last year to reach $502,950 in March, helped by solid growth in Hawkes Bay, Manawatu/Whanganui and Marl­bor­ough.

‘‘But al­most all the re­gions have seen ex­cel­lent growth in the last 12 months – and many hit record ask­ing prices in March,’’ Trade Me Jobs head Nigel Jef­fries said.

How­ever, de­mand from buy­ers ap­peared to be cool­ing off af­ter the av­er­age num­ber of views on list­ings fell 1.6 per cent.

Over all of New Zealand, the av­er­age ask­ing price rose to $636,650, up 0.3 per cent on March last year.

Auck­land prices stalled for the sec­ond month, edg­ing down 0.7 per cent on a year ago to $912,500.

In Welling­ton, prices pow­ered up 1.7 per cent on Fe­bru­ary and 5.8 per cent on the pre­vi­ous March to $571,850, a new record.

Jef­fries said it re­mained tough for first home buy­ers in the cap­i­tal, who not only faced ris­ing prices but also a 10 per cent de­cline in list­ings on year-ago lev­els.

‘‘Home­own­ers in the cap­i­tal, on the other hand, will be pleased.

‘‘The Welling­ton prop­erty mar­ket has re­ally taken off over the past five years, climb­ing nearly 40 per cent or $136,650 since 2008,’’ he added.

In the re­gions, the big per­form­ers in­cluded Hawke’s Bay, up 15 per cent an­nu­ally to $519,950.

Manawatu/Whanganui also showed strong growth, climb­ing 14.4 per cent to a record $334,600 and Marl­bor­ough grew 14.1 per cent to a new high of $483,300.

Waikato reached a new high of $548,650, up 7.3 per cent on a year ago, while Taranaki reached $409,150, up 5.5 per cent.

Units were be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar, par­tic­u­larly for first-home buy­ers.

Out­side Auck­land unit prices climbed 4.7 per cent on last year to a record $331,050.

MAR­TIN DE RUYTER/ STUFF

‘‘The Welling­ton prop­erty mar­ket has re­ally taken off over the past five years.’’

Trade Me Jobs head Nigel Jef­fries House ask­ing prices have cracked the $500,000 mark out­side the three main cen­tres.

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