Vendor lag but house prices rise
Auckland houses are now taking longer to sell than they have in the past nine years, new data shows.
February data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) show the national median house price rose by almost 7 per cent over the past year, to $530,000.
Auckland’s prices lifted 3.7 per cent to a median $858,000.
REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said that was positive for the region. ‘‘We know double-digit increases are not sustainable in the long term.’’
But the data showed it was taking more time for properties in New Zealand’s biggest city to change hands – the median number of days to sell rose by six to 49 compared with February 2017.
That’s the highest number of days it’s taken to sell an Auckland property in nine years.
Nationally, the median number of days to sell was up four to 44.
The only parts of New Zealand where prices did not rise over the year were the West Coast and Gisborne, down 10.7 per cent and 3.1 per cent, respectively.
The West Coast also experienced an increase in the number of days it takes to sell over the year – an extra 21 days, taking it to 105.
Hawke’s Bay hit another record median price. ‘‘Hawke’s Bay has seen record price increases for two months in a row now, with prices having increased $26,0000 since the end of 2017,’’ Norwell said.
‘‘Clearly the region is proving extremely popular. Additionally, the recent announcement by the Regional Economic Development Minister, Shane Jones, that nearly $9 million will be spent to reopen the Wairoa-Napier line for logging trains will bring significant development for the Hawke’s Bay.’’
Northland and Taranaki both experienced sales volume falls of more than 10 per cent compared with last year.
Meanwhile, head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said average asking prices looked to have cooled in parts of the country.
Wellington had its first asking price drop in five months, down 0.6 per cent from January to $626,050.
Auckland’s prices held stable, down 0.1 per cent on January and up 0.5 per cent on February 2017.
‘‘Buyers in Wellington will be smiling through gritted teeth with a dip in asking prices and a 4 per cent increase in the number of properties for sale. It’s a nice change for first home buyers after months of little stock and record asking prices,’’ Jeffries said.
But he said prices were not likely to drop much further.
‘‘We’re still seeing fierce demand for properties in the capital with the number of views up 10 per cent on last year,’’ he said.
‘‘Demand for property in Auckland is well below the region’s February 2016 peak and it seems for the first time in a while, buyers are in the prime position.’’
But Jeffries said units in Auckland were becoming increasingly popular and scaled new heights in February, up 2.9 per cent to a record asking price of $635,650.
Provincial New Zealand saw average asking prices reach a new record, up 1.1 per cent on January to $499,300.