Blowing Bubbles: Where the housing bubble has blown up the biggest

You can't talk about New Zealand's property boom without first looking at what has happened in Auckland.
NEVILLE MARRINER/FAIRFAX NZ

You can't talk about New Zealand's property boom without first looking at what has happened in Auckland.

In New Zealand the average residential property is worth $622,000 - up more than 50 per cent since 2012.

But the headline figure masks a much more varied picture around the country. 

An analysis of property data from 751 suburbs, provided by CoreLogic, shows that while values have doubled in Auckland, in some parts of the country they are still yet to recover from the crash of 2008. In others, the boom appears to be spilling over and driving up prices.

UNAFFORDABLE AUCKLAND 

You can't talk about New Zealand's property boom without first looking at what has happened in Auckland.

At the top end of the market there are now 86 suburbs where the median value is above $1 million (up from 13 suburbs in 2012) in New Zealand's biggest city. In Herne Bay and St Marys Bay, median values are above $2 million. 

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While prices in these suburbs are now astronomical, they were arguably already beyond the grasp of the average first-home buyer in 2012.

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Value increases in parts of the city where prices were in the $300,000-$500,000 range in 2012 have had the most detrimental impact on housing affordability in the city.

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In these suburbs, which are mostly in the west and south of the city, values have generally increased at a faster rate than the million-dollar suburbs, although this is not unexpected given the lower starting value, the impact has been to wipe affordable housing in Auckland off the map.

In Otara, Mangere East and Clendon Park in the south, values have more than doubled since October 2012. A fourth suburb - Point England in Tamaki - has also seen values double, while seven suburbs in West Auckland have seen increases of more than 90 per cent.

These are all places where median values in 2012 - with a couple of exceptions - were below $500,000. 

EMERGING MARKETS

From the 2012 to 2015 the rest of New Zealand watched on as Auckland property values skyrocketed, and wondered whether the disease of rapid house price inflation was contagious.

In 2016, they got their answer. In the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Northland, values  - which had previously been growing steadily - shot through the roof in the middle of 2015 and the growth continued apace into 2016.

Something similar happened in Queenstown, while the Wellington region's shot in the arm came in October of 2015.

In the 12 months to October 2016, median property values increased by 20 per cent or more in 134 suburbs in New Zealand - only five of them were in Auckland.

A year earlier, 150 suburbs grew at 20 per cent or more in the 12 months to October, and 142 of them were in Auckland. New Zealand's housing affordability crisis was on the move.

LAGGING BEHIND

Hidden in the headline figures that show increasing values in New Zealand, on average, are the forgotten property markets of New Zealand where median values have still not recovered to their pre-2008 crash levels.

Values in 83 suburbs in New Zealand still lag behind where they were in 2008. These areas account for 100,000 households or about 7 per cent of New Zealand's total housing stock. 

In much of the Far North, Central North Island, East Cape and West Coast, property values are still below where they were in 2008 when the market crashed.

However, it seems in 2016 the recovery may have finally reached some of these far flung locations, with 32 of these suburbs seeing double-digit percentage increases in median values in the 12 months to October 2016.

* Only suburbs with 400 or more residential properties were included in this analysis

 

 

 

 - Stuff

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