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Are the regions catching up with Auckland property prices?

Tags: Research Residential

The median house price for New Zealand rose $30,350 in the last 12 months to a record $515,000, with the regions overtaking Auckland as the star performer in the latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures.

Areas outside Auckland are showing record growth, with the median house price leaping 9.6 percent year on year to $400,000.

All in all, six regions hit new highs. Central Otago Lakes recorded the largest percentage increase in median price compared to September 2015, at 41 percent, followed by Nelson/Marlborough at 22 percent and Waikato/Bay of Plenty at 18 percent.

Auckland’s median house price rose 7 percent year on year to $825,000. However, it did drop 2 percent from $842,000 in August.

So, with the Auckland market pausing for breath – bad weather in September and early October has delayed plans to bring properties to market – are the regions now in a position to catch up?

Continued economic strength and low interest rates have boosted the housing market right across New Zealand.

Auckland’s heated market has certainly helped prices elsewhere. First-time buyers in Auckland have been increasingly attracted to lower priced markets in other parts of the country. This has benefited markets in the “Golden Triangle” – the area between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga – and north of Auckland, as have the resurgence of the dairy industry and improved transport connections.

Indeed, at Bayleys’ recent Beyond Auckland expo there was huge interest from not only first-time buyers but also investors looking to capitalise on regional growth and those seeking to buy a lifestyle block.

But will suburbs in the regional markets hit the same high levels experienced in Auckland? Well, demand has resulted in a strong rise in median house prices in Queenstown, up 30 percent to $850,000 over the 12 months to June 2016, surpassing Auckland’s median of $825,000.

Indeed, the tourism boom has made the town the place to be. The surge in visitor numbers, coupled with an increasing wave of lifestylers and investor demand, has boosted the residential market significantly.

Along with the “Golden Triangle”, Queenstown and the surrounding Central Otago Lakes region are the strongest real estate markets at present, and it’s likely both will give Auckland a run for its money.

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