Wellington housing market overtakes Auckland

by NZ Adviser05 Oct 2016
House prices keep climbing around New Zealand, according to the latest monthly QV House Price Index.

Nationwide residential property values for September increased 14.3% over the past year, with a 4.9% increase over the past three months.

Home values are now 49.5% above the previous market peak of late 2007. 

The latest data shows Wellington has now overtaken Auckland in rising home values, showing a 21.2% year on year increase for the wider Wellington region compared to a 15% year on year increase in the Auckland market.

QV National Spokesperson Andrea Rush said, “The Wellington market continues to show strong levels of activity and demand. Values in the capital have risen faster than the Auckland region over the past three months and year on year.

“Despite a clear slowing in activity and demand in the Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga markets since the introduction of the new LVR restrictions for investors, we are seeing little evidence of a slow-down in value growth in these main centres.”

“Centres with entry level properties under $350,000 appear less impacted by the new LVR restrictions most likely due to the fact the new 40% deposit requirement for investment properties is easier to achieve at a lower price point.”

In light of the QV data, Wellington mayoral candidate Justin Lester said in a release he would be a “hands-on mayor” to control house prices in the capital. 

“Wellingtonians have watched in horror as Aucklanders have been locked out of the housing market by skyrocketing house prices and astronomical rents have forced families to live in cars and garages. No one wants to see that in Wellington,” said Lester. 

“What the capital needs is a mayor who will take action and stop Wellington becoming the next Auckland.

“I have already pledged to take serious action before Wellington becomes the new centre of the housing crisis.

“As mayor, I will offer a rebate on the first $5,000 of rates to first home owners building a new house in Wellington. This will increase the affordability of building in Wellington as well as increase the overall supply of housing.”

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said, they have not seen the usual Springtime lift in housing activity.

“In September new listings were down, and sales numbers and prices were restrained,” said Thompson. 

“Rather the market continued the trend which first showed in July of prices increasing at a much slower rate that in the past two to three years.

“While in September the average price increased, compared to August, the median price actually stayed constant.

“The average sales price in September was $919,849. This is 1.5 percent higher than for August, but is up only 2.9 percent on the average for the previous three months.

“The median price movement is even narrower, and at $850,000 is exactly the same as it was in August and up only 0.8 percent for the previous three months.

“Compared to what was happening to prices last September the Auckland housing market is subdued and we are now looking at a totally different market to 12 months ago.” 

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