More demand for property files
HB house prices now back to record levels
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.