Wellington hits new record while property prices cool in Auckland

February was yet another strong month for the Wellington property market with the average asking price reaching an all time high of $638,000, up 13.5 per cent or $75,000 on last year, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.  

Trade Me Property’s Aaron Clancy said property prices in Wellington have experienced “phenomenal” growth since early 2018 and are expected to continue. “While homeowners will be happy, those trying to get a foot on the first rung of the Wellington property ladder will be finding it that much harder.”

“The average asking price rose across region in February with property prices in Upper Hutt (up 11.7 per cent to $558,100), Lower Hutt (up 7.5  per cent to $581,300) and Masterton (climbing 13.6 per cent to $428,000) reaching record highs. Wellington Central (up 7 per cent on last year to $741,800), Carterton (up 20.7 per cent to $454,550) and Porirua (up 9.7 per cent $ 630,900) also saw strong year-on-year growth.

“A lack of supply is driving these record-breaking property prices with the number of properties for sale down 4  per cent on the year prior which is making it tough for prospective buyers in the region.”

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Auckland property market keeps slowing

Mr Clancy said by comparison Auckland was stagnant. “Property prices in Auckland continued to flatten in February with the average asking price rising just 1.7 per cent year-on-year to $926,350.”

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“There’s no doubt that the brakes have been applied to the Auckland property market and some homeowners and investors are clearly deciding now is the time to sell. We’ve seen a 7 per cent jump in the number of properties for sale onsite when compared to last year.

“This will come as welcome news to prospective buyers who have become accustomed to eye-watering property price increases over the last few years.”

Mr Clancy added the average asking price in Auckland City was $1,049,800 in February, down almost $75,000 from its peak in November last year at $1,124,100.

    

National asking price bounces back after holiday lull

The national average asking price bounced back in February to reach $663,350, up 5.9 per cent on last year.

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“We typically see the property market bounce back in February after the holiday lull. More properties come on to the market, and demand tends to rise.

“Nationwide, the number of properties listed for sale during February was up 12 per cent on January, while the average number of views on properties for sale climbed 7 per cent on February last year.

Property prices in eight regions hit record levels in February including Canterbury, Waikato, Manawatu/Whanganui, Nelson/Tasman, Northland, Southland, Gisborne and Wellington,” he added.

The average asking price in Canterbury hit $492,000, Waikato was $578,250, Manawatu/Whanganui reached $357,700, Nelson/Tasman was $630,000, Northland reached $593,700, Southland was $314,100, while Gisborne hit $403,200 in February.

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House prices outside Auckland rise

Mr Clancy said outside New Zealand’s largest city, house prices climbed 7.2 per cent on last February to $541,500.

“Small houses (1-2 bedrooms) outside Auckland were the pick of the bunch, with the average asking price rising 9.9 per cent to $396,550. Medium houses (3-4 bedrooms) rose 6 per cent to $557,250 and large houses (5+ bedrooms) were up 2 per cent to $843,700,” he added.

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Urban properties in Wellington soar

“Apartments, townhouses and units in the Wellington region saw some incredible year-on-year growth in February, with the average asking price soaring 25 per cent.”

Mr Clancy said Wellingtonian buyers were favouring urban properties as house prices increased, with strong double-digit growth across apartments, townhouses and units in the region.

“These types of properties require a smaller deposit and less maintenance than a house which is why they are popular in the current hot Wellington property market.”

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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.