Regions fire up as Auckland cools

Auckland’s housing market has had its star turn and regional markets are now moving into the spotlight, new Trade Me Property data reveals.

Thursday, January 12th 2017, 11:00AM

by Miriam Bell

Northland

The Super City’s average asking price dropped by 0.3% in December to come in at $908,850, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said that after four years of phenomenal growth the Auckland region was finally slowing down.

For a long time the only property story has been the unbelievable growth in the region, he said.

“But Auckland has experienced a few quieter months recently and we don’t see the market taking off again any time soon.

“Home owners in the city don’t need to despair though, with the average asking price in Auckland jumping by 12.9% during 2016.”

However, the data also showed that, in contrast to Auckland, average asking prices in provincial New Zealand are heating up.

Excluding Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, the average asking price for property in provincial New Zealand hit a new record high in December, up almost 14% to $464,600.

Jeffries said that was a jump of $55,450 since January 2016, which was a faster rate than the country’s largest cities over the same period.

Provincial property prices have risen by 37.9% in the past five years, with the average asking price up from $336,950 in December 2011.

Jeffries said the Northland region is currently super-hot, blasting through the $500,000 mark in November and continuing to climb in December.

“Northland hit another record in December with average asking prices hitting $521,750. It’s seen a 20.6% increase during 2016.”

Over the past five years, the average asking price in Northland has risen by just under $150,000 (40%), with more than half of that increase coming in the last 12 months.

Around the rest of New Zealand, seven of the 15 regions hit record average asking price highs in the December.

They were Gisborne (up 27.3% year-on-year), Marlborough (up 5.6% year-on-year), Manawatu (up 9.3% year-on-year), Nelson (up 17.6% year-on-year), Northland (up 20.6% year-on-year), Southland (up 4.3% year-on-year) and Waikato (up 27.4% year-on-year).

Only the West Coast’s average asking price decreased on this time last year. It was down by 6.8% year-on-year.

Realestate.co.nz’s December data adds further support to the view that Auckland’s market is cooling, while other markets heat up.

It showed that listings in Auckland are up, but they are down elsewhere.

ASB economist Kim Mundy said this indicated that, out of Auckland, market activity appears to be picking up again.

“Inventory levels fell in most regions outside of Auckland suggesting demand remains reasonably robust across much of the country.”

Yesterday’s QV data also revealed the Auckland market has cooled, while other smaller markets – like Napier and Nelson – are powering along.

QV national spokesperson Andrea Rush pointed to Dunedin as a current hotspot.

She said that, to date, the Dunedin market has seen no evident slowing and value levels continue to increase, while sales activity remained strong throughout the Christmas period.

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