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Market flat line continues

Auckland’s market cooldown continued in February with another fall in median house prices but regional markets remained steady, new REINZ data shows.

Monday, March 13th 2017, 12:00AM

by Miriam Bell

Once seasonally adjusted, the Super City’s median house price fell by 1.7% to $800,000 in February, as compared to $805,000 in January.

It is the fourth month in a row that the median house price has dropped – although, once seasonally adjusted, the median house price still saw year-on-year growth of 11%.

At the same time, on a seasonally adjusted basis, Auckland sales volumes were 8.9% lower in February than in the same period last year.

Inventory in the region has increased by 20% over the past year and there has been a sharp rise over the past three months.

Around the rest of the country, the REINZ data returned a mixed bag of results.

Once seasonally adjusted, the national median house price rose by 0.3% to reach $495,000 in February, as compared to $490,000 in January.

This was a 14.1% year-on- year increase, once seasonally adjusted.

Central Otago Lakes (up 30%), Northland (up 20%) and Otago (up 18%) all saw strong year-on-year price growth, with both Northland and Otago hit new record high median sale prices in February 2017.

Meanwhile, February saw a 45% increase in sales volumes as compared to January – but, on a seasonally adjusted basis, February sales fell 8.9% on February 2016.

REINZ CEO Bindi Norwell said they are seeing a mixed picture across New Zealand and in Auckland.

Although there are more houses on the market and median prices are rising on a seasonally adjusted basis year-on- year, sales volumes were down in February, she said.

“We hear anecdotally that LVRs are having an effect and banks are reducing lending, becoming more selective about who they lend to, what properties they will lend on and the terms.

“Recent media has noted the lower level of cash incentives being offered by banks, and this ties in with the feedback agents across the country are hearing from their clients.”

For Westpac acting chief economist Michael Gordon the REINZ data suggests that the housing market steadied in February after a particularly weak January.

He said that, in seasonally adjusted terms, sales were close to flat while the stratified price index rose slightly.

While the Auckland price index rose by 5%, confirming that the 6% drop last month was a rogue print, prices in Auckland have effectively stalled since the middle of last year, he said.

“Combined with falling sales and rising inventories of unsold homes, there is a strong sense now that the Auckland market has peaked.”

Mortgage rates have been heading higher since November, ending a steady downward trend over the previous couple of years, Gordon added.

“Our view remains that higher borrowing costs will have a more meaningful, and sustained, impact on house prices than the temporary effects of lending restrictions.”

Read more:

Demand for big city property falls 

Limited action at lower end of market 

« Bridging the finance gapNegative gearing to go under Labour »

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Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 4.55 3.19 3.19 3.49
AIA Special - 2.69 2.69 2.99
ANZ 4.44 3.15 3.25 ▼3.39
ANZ Special - ▼2.55 ▼2.69 ▼2.79
ASB Bank 4.45 3.19 3.19 3.49
ASB Bank Special - 2.69 2.69 2.99
Bluestone ▼3.49 ▼3.49 ▼3.49 ▼3.49
BNZ - Classic - ▼2.55 2.69 2.99
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 3.25 3.29 3.59
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
China Construction Bank 4.49 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
Credit Union Auckland 5.45 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
Credit Union South 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 3.35 3.85 -
Heartland 3.95 2.89 2.97 3.39
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 4.35 4.45 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.60 2.65 2.80
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 3.99 2.58 2.68 2.79
Kainga Ora 4.43 3.29 3.39 3.85
Kiwibank 3.40 3.40 3.54 4.00
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
Kiwibank - Offset - - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.65 2.79 3.25
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.45 3.49 -
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Resimac 3.49 3.45 3.39 3.69
SBS Bank 4.54 3.29 3.19 3.49
SBS Bank Special - 2.79 2.69 2.99
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 ▼2.69 ▼2.75 ▼2.99
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 ▼3.19 ▼3.25 ▼3.49
TSB Bank 5.34 ▼3.35 3.49 3.79
TSB Special 4.54 ▼2.55 2.69 2.99
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.75 3.99 -
Westpac 4.59 4.15 4.09 4.49
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Westpac Special - ▼2.55 2.69 2.79
Median 4.55 3.19 3.22 3.39

Last updated: 13 July 2020 7:38am

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