Manawatu/Whanganui average house prices at a record high

House sale prices in Palmerston North continue to reach record levels.
David Unwin/Fairfax NZ.

House sale prices in Palmerston North continue to reach record levels.

Manawatu/Whanganui houses are more expensive than ever before, hitting a record high average price in July.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand calculated the median house price in Manawatu/Whanganui  rose to $265,000, the highest average price for the region since REINZ records began two decades ago.

Manawatu/Whanganui was one of four regions, and the only one outside greater Auckland's property halo, to hit a new record last month as the national property market continues to soar. Average house prices in Northland, Auckland, and Waikato/Bay of Plenty also reached new heights in July.

REINZ Manawatu spokesman Andy Stewart said the region's property market was the most competitive he'd ever seen it.

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"The sales prices we are seeing are unparrelled in my experience. There's not many properties selling without multiple offers, and  in Palmerston North most are selling within 19 days of the signs going up," Stewart said.

July sales in the city had spiked from 108 in 2015 to 149 this year. And he saw no sign of it letting up for at least another year, with sales ramping up even in slower-paced areas like Ashhurst.

Five residential sections and nine houses sold in Ashhurst last month.

"It was a bloody good month, especially, for a little village like Ashhurst. Those five sections have been available for years and now they've gone in a block, just like that."

Palmerston North Council economic policy adviser Peter Crawford said economic growth across the region, and a growing population, meant demand for housing was unlikely to slacken.

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"The council's waiting list for its rental accommodation had grown, and I know it's the same with Housing New Zealand homes ... we're still seeing declines in people leaving for Australia and higher net gains in migration on top of strong steady population growth," he said.

"The indicators all point to a sustained high demand for housing."

Crawford said housing in the region remained relatively affordable, despite the record high prices. Palmerston North is the most expensive part of the region to buy a house, and even then the city was stacking up better and better against other regional centres, he said.

"There's certainly been strong growth in house prices right across the region, but Palmerston North is becoming comparably cheaper than other [regional] centres."

He said comparing the three-month rolling averages for July from independent valuer QV, Palmerston North was cheaper, with slower rising prices than all of them except Invercargill.

QV's figures showed Palmerston North's average house value had risen 9.3 per cent since the same time last year, up to $320,000. That's just under half the $513,00 average value in Hamilton, which had the highest growth over that period at 31.5 per cent.

The closest matches were Hastings and Dunedin, but even there the gap between them and Palmerston North grew.

Hastings was up 14.1 per cent to $353,000, and Dunedin values grew 11.1 per cent to an average of $332,000.



 - Stuff


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