Ever wondered what that house sold for?

App to find the sold price of your neighbour's house - nosy or useful?

Image courtesy of Stuff.co.nz

A Trade Me Property app that lets you find out the sold price of your neighbour's house has been rolled out to cover properties in 24 local councils.

While friends and family are often tightlipped about the cost of their new home, the updated Trade Me Property green app lets you see exactly what they paid for it, the date of the sale, and the RV.

Similarly, they can see what you paid for your place, even if it was five years ago.

Trade Me launched the "sold" section of its green property app in December, but at that stage it was only available for properties in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. In the past few months, however, the facility has been rolled out to include data from 21 additional councils throughout the country, from the Bay of Plenty to New Plymouth and right down to Otago.

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The Trade Me Property app can now give you sales history is most NZ cities. 

Alistair Helm, head of product at Trade Me Property, says the new app is seeing a huge growth, with more than 100,000 downloads in the past four months.

"During the course of 2016 we hope to be bringing all of that data from every council into the app," he says. "The app is intended to help buyers – investors and homeowners – make good investment decisions."

Helm says Trade Me has worked closely with Homes.co.nz and local councils to make the information available. "Councils are generally very supportive. Once a sale is registered with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), the information is publicly available. But in the past, if you wanted to find out the sale price of a property you had to make an individual request to Quotable Value and there was a charge."

Now that same information can be at your fingertips in seconds, and the map format makes it easy to see the sales history of neighbouring properties.

Prices can only be lodged following a property settlement, which can be anything from one to three months on average. Helm says the conveyancing solicitors lodge the sale information into an online system that populates both the LINZ and the appropriate council databases.

"We want to ensure the data is updated as often as possible, and we are working to speed up the process. Shortly we will be updating the database bi-monthly, and moving on to provide monthly updates."

The green app is already familiar to half a million New Zealanders who have been using it for the past four years to search for properties for sale and rent. It is available for both Android and iOS phones.

Helm says the database for properties covered under the original Auckland City Council goes back 10 years, but the other amalgamated councils in the region have only been able to provide a database for properties sold since the amalgamation in 2010.

Helm says that even though New Zealand property transactions are "incredibly digitised", the distribution of sold data has been slow to eventuate. The United States has had a similar system in place for 10 years, and the UK and Australia have been able to tap into the information for about five years.

- Original article from Stuff.co.nz