What’s happening with main centres’ property market?

by Roxanne Libatique04 Mar 2021

All six main centres experienced over 10% annual growth to the end of February 2021, according to CoreLogic’s latest data.

The CoreLogic House Price Index (HPI) for February 2021 revealed that Wellington experienced the most significant growth at 16.6%, taking the average property value for the wider Wellington area to over $900,000 for the first time. Wellington region’s outer areas also experienced significant growth, reflecting a mix of affordability, improved commute times, and more remote and flexible working arrangements.

Carterton property values increased by 13.7% from December to February, while the average value in the Kapiti Coast District exceeded $800,000 for the first time after growing by 12.4% over the same period. Its 23.0% annual growth rate is now the equal highest for the district (matching December 2016).

Auckland remained in the spotlight as its recent momentum continued to build in February, thanks to low listings and sustained investor presence (their share of purchases reached 32% in January). The city’s average values increased by 2.9%, exceeding the 2.6% national figure. They are now within a whisker of the $1.2 million mark for the first time and 13.3% above a year ago.

The average property value in Hamilton exceeded $700,000 for the first time in February at $712,717, up by 2.7% from January’s mark and 14.5% higher than a year earlier. The southwest parts of the city are slightly ahead of the rest, recording an annual increase of 16.3% last month.

Meanwhile, Christchurch’s average values increased by another 1.5% last month, up to almost $565,000 – 10.2% higher than a year ago. Its annual growth rate had not reached double digits since February 2014, when the market passed its peak growth rate in the aftermath of the post-earthquake upswing. Despite the recent growth in property values, the city’s housing affordability remained much more favourable than other main centres, said CoreLogic.

Dunedin has started to surge again, with average values up by 3.2% in February and 15.3% over the past year (over $81,000). However, it now takes around nine years to save the average deposit in Dunedin – more than in Christchurch, Hamilton, and Wellington.

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