As house prices continue to rise and returns fall for investors, the Auckland property market has seen a fall in buyer interest.
Statistics from realestate.co.nz for June 2016 show the number of users searching Auckland houses ‘for sale’ on realestate.co.nz fell by 19.33% compared to the same time last year.
The site also measures engagement and in June it fell by more than a third across the Auckland region when compared to June 2015.
“It could be a turning point for Auckland, with prices now at an all-time high they’re almost out of reach for the average income earner, with first home buyers the hardest hit,” CEO Brendon Skipper says.
“Nationally, the volume of traffic to our site is comparable across the country for this time of year, but it appears buyers are moving away from looking in the Auckland area in favour of other regions.”
In contrast, searches for properties in Northland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Queenstown were up significantly in June compared to the same period last year.
“It appears Aucklanders still want to stay in relatively close proximity to our biggest city, but in terms of affordability they are forced to move even further afield, or they are making lifestyle changes,” Skipper said.
Hot spots in Northland are Waipu, Whangarei Heads, Paihia and Tutukaka which all have a significant increase in users looking in those areas.
“Whangarei Heads is the suburb to watch, with online engagement up by 42 per cent on same time last year.”
In the Far North, Kerikeri Surrounds, Paihia and the Karikari Peninsula were the most searched.
“Further south, Hamilton and Tauranga continues to attract high levels of online engagement and Queenstown continues to be a perennial favourite.”
Skipper said Auckland property investors are taking a hit on their theoretical yield in the rental market.
“Investors buying a house in June at the average price of $888,493 theoretically would receive 3.18 per cent yield on the average rent in Auckland – based on our calculation of average asking price vs weekly rental price, excluding all external costs.
“This puts them at the bottom of the ladder across all 19 regions.
“It suggests that Auckland investors are relying on future capital gains rather than rental returns or having to look at other property types when considering their investments.”