The New Zealand property market remained almost static in February after the national average asking price fell just 0.6 per cent on January to $626,050, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.
Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said Wellington was leading the way and that it was the first time in five months that property prices had cooled in the capital after a “pretty hot” few months.
“Typically we see prices spike in February, but 2018 has bucked the trend after the average asking price in Wellington fell just over 1 per cent on last month and landed at $562,250,” he said.
“Buyers in Wellington will be smiling through gritted teeth with a dip in asking prices and a 4 per cent increase in the number of properties for sale. It’s a nice change for first home buyers after months of little stock and record asking prices.
“However, it doesn’t look like prices will drop much further. We’re still seeing fierce demand for properties in the capital with the number of views up 10 per cent on last year,” he added.
Auckland comes to a halt
Mr Jeffries said the average asking price in Auckland came to a halt in February, after it fell a microscopic 0.1 per cent on January and was up just 0.5 per cent on last year to $910,750.
“Buyers in the Super City will be relieved this month as prices continue to slow. Demand for property in Auckland is well below the region’s February 2016 peak and it seems for the first time in a while, buyers are in the prime position.”
Around the regions
Mr Jeffries said outside the three main centres, provincial New Zealand was running hot after the average asking price reached a new record, up 1.1 per cent on January to $499,300.
“Property prices in the Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu and Marlborough all reached new records in February after experiencing solid double-digit growth.
“The Hawke’s Bay property market has been a star performer lately and in February we saw an annual increase of 16 per cent to a record asking price of $527,100. Property in Manawatu and Marlborough followed close behind, both up 15 per cent respectively to new highs of $328,400 and $477,800.”
Mr Jeffries said property in the North Island was in in hot demand with 51 per cent more views for property in Taranaki and a 31 per cent increase in Manawatu.
Large houses in Wellington crack $1m mark
Mr Jeffries said large houses (5+ bedrooms) in Wellington reached a record asking price in February of $1,003,000 following a solid annual increase of 27.6 per cent.
“Small houses (1-2 bedrooms) in the capital also hit a new high in February, climbing a hefty 20.2 per cent to $478,650.
“Outside Auckland, small houses (1-2 bedrooms) reached another record high in February following an annual increase of 7.7 per cent to $360,750. Large houses (5+ bedrooms) outside the Super City also experienced a new record rising 11.3 per cent to $826,250 in the last year,” he said.
Table 1: Average asking price by property size & region, February 2018 vs February 2017
Auckland units hit new high
Mr Jeffries said units in Auckland scaled new heights in February, up 2.9 per cent to a record asking price of $635,650.
“Units are becoming increasingly popular in our largest city, particularly for first home buyers eager to get a foot on the property ladder. Townhouses and apartments in Wellington experienced a steady increase on last February, climbing 5.9 and 6.4 per cent respectively.”
Table 2: Average asking price by property type & region, February 2018 vs February 2017
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.