Regions rise, cities stabilise
Homeowners in provincial New Zealand remain optimistic about what their houses will sell for, as Aucklanders and Wellingtonians moderate their expectations.
Six regions of New Zealand reached record asking prices on Trade Me in December.
Trade Me Property head Nigel Jeffries said demand was strong at the end of 2018.
‘‘December is typically a slow month for the property market as buyers and sellers take some time off over the break, but six regions bucked the seasonal trend to end the year with record average asking prices,’’ he said.
Otago had an 11.7 per cent year-on-year increase to a record asking price of $586,950, along with Northland (up 9.4 per cent to $580,950), Nelson-Tasman (up 7.2 per cent to $619,600), Waikato (up 5.9 per cent to $575,300), and Bay of Plenty (up 5 per cent to $637,800).
Jeffries said the average asking price in Hawke’s Bay also reached a new high of $566,950 after climbing 11 per cent on December 2017.
‘‘Property prices in Hawke’s Bay have been increasing consistently since late 2016 as demand continues to grow in the region,’’ he said.
‘‘In December the average number of views on Hawke’s Bay properties was up a solid 16 per cent on the year prior, with that level of demand we don’t see that growth slowing any time soon.’’
New Zealand’s national average asking price reached $657,650 in December, up 2.7 per cent on the year prior.
Wellington’s average asking price fell 1.6 per cent from November to $606,900.
Jeffries said property demand in the capital was low in December as many Wellingtonians headed away for the break.
‘‘The average number of views on Wellington properties fell 35 per cent on November but we expect to see Wellington property prices bounce back and continue their upward trend in 2019.
‘‘The capital’s market was very hot all 2018 and we expect to see that trend continue now that the city is waking back up after its summer break.’’
Auckland’s average price held steady at $943,100, up just 0.1 per cent on the year before.
Jeffries said the Auckland market began to slow towards the end of 2018 and it could be a sign that property prices in the region have reached their peak for now.
Smaller houses were becoming more popular, he said.
‘‘Small houses are a good step onto the property ladder and they’re popular with investors too. They are more affordable and desirable to young professionals who don’t need as much space as your typical Kiwi family.’’
The average asking price for properties with one or two bedrooms jumped 7.6 per cent in December, to $457,350.