PHOTO: Trade Me Property

New Zealand property prices have increased by a third since 2015 – with February proving to be another strong month countrywide according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said the national average asking price increased by 2.2 per cent last month when compared to February 2019, to $677,900.

 “This has been reflected in increased demand for properties across the nation. It’s encouraging to see listing views were up 17.46 per cent from the same time last year”

Comparatively, the number of properties available for sale last month was up 16 per cent  from January, but down 18 per cent when compared to February last year.

“It’s the same old story with supply and demand. With buyers out in force and the number of properties on the market not keeping pace – prices creep up.”

Mr Jeffries said it is too early to predict how the property market will react to the Covid-19 pandemic. “It really depends on how this plays out over the next few weeks.”

“While we know that the markets have slowed significantly in countries where the virus is widespread, our government has put some strong measures in place that may mean New Zealand sees a different impact.”

“We have not seen a reduction in listings to date and buyer demand onsite is still very strong –  two signs that the market is in a good place at the moment. We also know agents right around the country are taking precautions to enable Kiwis to operate safely and continue to buy and sell property.
We’ll be working closely with real estate agents to make sure that we provide any support they need during this event, we want to do everything we can to help maintain a vibrant property market during this time. For buyers who still want to see a property I’d encourage them to chat to the agent if they have concerns to make sure they can view property safely and with the appropriate precautions.”  

Auckland housing market looking hopeful

After ten consecutive months of decline in Auckland’s property prices, the average asking price grew by 1.3 per cent when compared to the same time last year. Mr Jeffries said the increase was “small but very welcome.”

“While the number of property listings is down compared to last year Auckland has been showing a lot of signs of optimism. The total number of properties available for sale in the Auckland region was down 22.9 per cent when compared to February 2019, but up  22.5 per cent from January this year.”

Auckland apartment prices continued to rise, with the average asking price reaching $717,350 in February, up 3.2 per cent at the same time last year.

Houses and unit prices saw similar rates of growth. “The average asking price for a house in Auckland was up 3 per cent ($1,003,650), and units were up 2 per cent ($630,050).

Townhouses were the only property type to see a decline in property prices from $871,900 in February 2019 to $827,750 last month.”

There was also a spike in interest in Auckland listings, with views up 34 per cent from January and up 19.5 per cent in February compared to the same time last year.

Wellington property price hikes

Mr Jeffries said property prices in the capital are continuing to rise year on year. The average asking price in the Wellington region reached $680,350 – 6.6% per cent higher than February 2019.

“We saw property prices in the Wellington region take off a bit later than the Auckland market in mid-2016 and it has shown no real signs of slowing since.”

Property prices increased in all districts within the Wellington region in February, with Carterton,  South Wairarapa, Upper Hutt and Porirua seeing “phenomenal” year on year growth:

“The number of properties for sale in Wellington city was down 20.% on last year. However, interest continues to grow in the region, with the number of views on properties for sale up 21 per cent year-on-year.

“Views on South Wairarapa and Kapiti properties were up 63 per cent and 29.8 per cent respectively when compared to February last year.”

Record prices in eight regions across New Zealand

“Median asking price records were set in the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Manawatu/ Wanganui, Marlborough, Nelson/Tasman, Northland, Southland and Taranaki.”
Mr Jeffries said Waikato property prices continued to surge, with the February average asking price reaching $617,150.

“This marks a 6.7 per cent increase since February 2019 and a staggering 61 per cent increase since February 2015.”

Other regions that saw remarkable growth were Manawatu/Whanganui and Southland.

“The average asking price in Manawatu/Whanganui grew to $417,350, up 16.7 per cent since February 2019.

There was also an increase in demand, with the number of views on property in the region increasing by 21.6 per cent. Supply however, struggled to keep up with a comparatively small increase in the number of properties for sale of 1.5 per cent.”

In Southland, the average asking price was $368,450, a 17.3 per cent increase on the February 2019 average asking price of $314,100.

Records high prices across all property types 

Mr Jeffries said average prices of all types of houses across all regions reached record highs in February. “Both small 1-2 bedrooms houses and large 5+ bedroom houses prices increased by around 6 per cent when compared February last year.

“Medium sized 3-4 bedrooms houses prices also grew, with the median asking price up 3 per cent to $680,300.”

Mr Jeffries said the average asking price for apartments and units jumped across the country.

“The asking prices on apartments and units nationwide have reached record highs of $696,100 and $457,950 respectively.

Following the national trend, apartments and units in the Wellington region hit new highs of $579,900 and $468,250 respectively.”