The Auckland residential market slowed in the final quarter of 2015, reflecting the impact of changes in regulations and the traditional Christmas season slow down.
Total sales volumes Auckland wide were down near 20% in December, compared with the same month in 2014. The median value rise was just 0.7% from November. As a result year on year value growth slowed to 13% compared with up to 24% registered earlier in the year.
The Ponsonby and surrounds (Freemans Bay, St Marys Bay, Herne Bay, Westmere, Pt Chevalier and Grey Lynn) market trends followed those of the wider region quite closely. The median value in the December quarter was practically unchanged from September 2015 and now sits at $1,360,000. Although flat over the last three months, values have still risen by 17% from the same quarter last year. Sales volumes were also down in the final quarter with 197 transactions completed compared with 279 a year earlier. This figure is also put down to a lack of listings in the region. Agency reports however confirm that there is still strong interest from buyers in the area.
Sales activity is being supported by an increase in housing options within the local suburbs as new apartment developments are brought to market. This has allowed local residents the opportunity to downsize within the local area, an attractive option for those who do not want to leave the locality. The introduction of new high quality apartments to the area along with new projects selling from plans, allied to strong purchaser inquiry, has seen median apartment values rise. The December quarterly median value of $805,000 is up 8% on the September 2015 quarter where the median stood at $745,000. An apartment or townhouse currently averages 45 days on the market before selling.
Value appreciation of median house prices year on year for each suburb in this location show Ponsonby fringe suburbs values were driven up the most proportionately from 2014 to 2015. Grey Lynn, which ended 2014 with a median value of $940,000 for the twelve months grew by nearly 36% finishing 2015 with an overall median of $1,277,500. Grey Lynn started from the lowest base value at the end of 2014, when demand for more affordable property in the Ponsonby vicinity including apartments and townhouses, increased, placing upward pressure on prices in the suburb.
Westmere also improved, up nearly 30% from 2014, with an annual median value of $1,555,000 for 2015. St Marys Bay, widely known to be one of New Zealand’s most affluent suburbs has not seen percentage growth as substantial over the year, hardly surprising given that the median ended 2014 at over $1,600,000. As a result annual growth of 8.2% still equates to a $132,500 increase in median values.
As stated above the Auckland market has taken a breather over the last 3 months and this is reflected in a slight loosening of market conditions, illustrated by weeks to sell all stock easing from 9.6 weeks to 12.5 week albeit this still sits well below the longer term average of 24.6 weeks. The latest figures released by realestate.co.nz show the number of sales in the region to be in line with the long term average of around 2,100 sales. The total inventory continues to hold at low levels as new listings to the market fell short of the historical average with only 1,800 new homes listed for sale in December.
Read the full Marketbeat report online here.