Property price growth eases, Trade Me Property data shows
Some relief for would-be property purchasers - the rate of increase in house prices appears to be levelling off, particularly in Auckland.
The average asking price for a property listed on Trade Me Property rose in September to $600,850, but that was up only 0.6 per cent compared to August.
Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said the New Zealand property market was cruising after years of climbing and turbulence. "With month-on-month increases of 1 per cent or lower over the past five months, it looks to be taking a bit of a breather.
"And if we cast our eyes back over a longer period, we've seen the average asking price increase by 6 per cent over the past year. This is still pretty impressive but represents relative calmness after the 10 per cent and 16 per cent annual increases in previous years."
Jeffries said Auckland had slowed considerably but the average asking price hit $871,800, up 1.5 per cent on August.
"Auckland's average asking price is up 12 per cent on last year which is strong growth but a huge slowdown on the 20 per cent jumps we've seen over recent years. It's incredible to think that another record average asking price equates to a slowdown, but there's a definite easing after the frenzied growth of the last couple of years."
Jeffries said, outside Auckland, the property market was also reaching record highs, with the average asking price hitting $450,000 for the first time. "The average asking price is now 10.2 per cent higher than the same time last year and at $450,200 it represents an increase of $41,550 over the past year."
He said the star performers of the market were Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. "Waikato's growth has been incredible, turning in a 20 per cent jump in average asking price from last year to a record $467,400. The Bay of Plenty recorded its 12th successive month of record highs in September, hitting $551,100 and up $150,000 over the past three years."
Only two regions showed falls in average asking prices in September: Hawke's Bay and the West Coast.
Nine regions recorded double-digit percentage jumps, and five regions reached record highs: Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington and Nelson.
Jeffries said Nelson had broken the "half a million" barrier for the first time as the average asking price in the region reached $505,800, up $48,050 in the past year.
Large houses with five or more bedrooms were commanding big prices. "The average asking price for these properties is now well over a million dollars and showing no sign of slowing down. In Wellington this growth has been particularly strong with large houses hitting $807,600 in the capital, and up a massive $173,600 on last year," Jeffries said.
Jeffries said the Auckland apartment market had calmed down from highs of more than 40 per cent year-on-year to a 2.8 per cent increase in the year ended September.
Average asking prices for urban property in Wellington had kept "ticking over" with all types showing solid increases of between 11 and 12 per cent over the past year.