Property prices slow across the country

Property prices have slowed across the country after the national average asking price dipped slightly for a third consecutive month, falling 0.3 per cent on July to $630,600 in August, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said all but one region saw a year-on-year increase, however none reached a record average asking price in August.

“While almost every region has seen average asking prices increase on this time last year, we typically see growth like this accompanied by record prices. That’s not the case this time, instead we’re seeing signs that the brakes are being applied across the country.

“There are a number of factors contributing to this, including affordability constraints, rising rental prices making it harder for first home buyers to get a deposit together, and a range of Government initiatives targeting the property market.”


“Despite this slowdown, there was still plenty of activity in August. The average number of views on listings in the first two days onsite was up 4 per cent on last year and we’ve seen a 4.6 per cent boost in the overall number of listings so there is good news for both sellers and buyers,” he said.

Mr Jeffries said while it was standard practice for property prices to slow in winter, this year they have cooled much more than in recent years.

“The only region in the country that was down on this time last year was the Bay of Plenty where the average asking price dipped for the first time since January 2013, falling 0.3 per cent to $598,800 in August after a long period of solid growth.  Aside from Auckland, the Bay of Plenty has been one of the country’s strongest performers since 2015, so buyers in the region will be pleased to see there has been a little drop.”

Auckland prices continue to dip

Mr Jeffries said prospective buyers in Auckland have some reason to smile this month after the average asking price in the Super City continued to fall in August, dipping 0.1 per cent on July to its lowest point since September 2017 at $895,050.

“For the first time in a long time, buyers in the City of Sails are in a prime position as the rate of growth has finally eased with less competition and more stock on the market,” he said.

The number of property listings in the region was up 9.5 per cent on last year and the average number of views in the first two days onsite was down 2.4 per cent on the year prior.

Mr Jeffries said Papakura, the site of 18 new KiwiBuild homes, is still one of the more affordable districts in the region with the average asking price dipping 1.2 per cent on last year to $701,750. “With a brand new three-bedroom KiwiBuild home going for $579,000 and a four-bedroom home for $649,000, those lucky enough to get into these look to be getting a relatively good deal,” he added.

Wellington hits winter slump

Mr Jeffries said Wellington hit a winter slump in August after the average asking price dipped 0.3 per cent on July to $579,750.  

“The districts outside Wellington City saw strong double-digit growth as Wellingtonians continue to look outside the main centre. The average asking price in Upper Hutt climbed 12 per cent on last August to reach $515,150 while property prices in Masterton jumped 26 per cent to $414,450. The average asking price in Porirua was also up significantly with an 18 per cent increase on the year prior to reach $639,850. Meanwhile, property prices in Wellington Central rose 9 per cent to $684,950.”

Mr Jeffries said buyers in the region had fewer options, with the number of property listings down 6.4 per cent on last year. Upper Hutt and Masterton had the biggest decline in stock, with a 35 per cent and 17 per cent drop in the number of listings respectively.  

“Demand continues to grow in the capital with an 18.4 per cent increase in the number of Wellington properties being watchlisted. The city’s property market is one to watch in spring. With less stock and growing demand we expect to see it bounce back pretty quickly from this winter slump.”

Medium houses (3-4 bedrooms) in Wellington hit a new high

The average asking price for a medium house (3-4 bedrooms) in Wellington jumped 12.4 percent on last year to $615,800 for an annual increase of $67,800.

“Large houses (5+ bedrooms) and small houses (1-2 bedrooms) in Auckland dipped in August, falling 1.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively,” Mr Jeffries said.

Apartments popular in Christchurch and Wellington

“Apartments are the hot favourite at the moment, particularly in Christchurch and Wellington which saw 16 per cent and 15 per cent jumps in average asking price.”

Mr Jeffries said apartments, townhouses and units all saw strong growth over the last 12 months as rising house prices encouraged more Kiwis toward smaller properties which are more affordable, often closer to the city and require less maintenance than a house.

About the Trade Me Property Price Index:

  • The Trade Me Property Price Index measures trends in the expectations of selling prices for residential property listings added to Trade Me Property by real estate agents and private sellers over the past three months.

  • It provides buyers, sellers and realtors with insights into ‘for sale’ price trends by property type and property size.

  • The Index is produced from data on properties listed on Trade Me Property in the three months leading up to the last day of each period. Each period’s value is a truncated mean of the complete three months’ worth of listings. This is to better reflect trends in property prices rather than month-to-month fluctuations in housing stock.

  • The Index uses an “80% truncated mean” of the expected sale price to calculate the average asking price. This excludes the upper and lower 10% of listings by price, and averages the expected sale prices of the remaining properties.

  • It provides an insight into ‘for sale’ price trends by type and size of property. Other reports aggregate property price data across these various properties.

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