Regions rise, cities sta­bilise

The Dominion Post - - Business - Staff re­porters

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.

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