House investors hit record in Auckland, first home buyers fall: CoreLogic

Wellington may be one of the few places where first-home buyers are toe-to toe with investors.
MARY-JO TOHILL/FAIRFAX NZ

Wellington may be one of the few places where first-home buyers are toe-to toe with investors.

Investors are now taking a record 44 per cent of Auckland housing market, according to data from property consultants CoreLogic.

The consultancy's latest monthly report also shows that in the first three months of the year, the proportion of first home buyers in the market fell to 19 per cent, from a peak of 25 per cent in previous months.

Nationally, first home buyers dipped to 20 per cent, and investors increased slightly to 39 per cent, of all buyers.

First home buyers dipped to 20 per cent, where less than one in every five houses sold were to first home buyers.
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First home buyers dipped to 20 per cent, where less than one in every five houses sold were to first home buyers.

CoreLogic said investors who were still in the market were those who did not need mortgages, while those reliant on bank financing were feeling the pinch of tougher loan-to-value (LVR) restrictions.

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CoreLogic said Auckland house values had eased 0.7 per cent over the last three months, a trend it observed when mortgage lending was tightened last year.

It said it suspected the slowdown could be short-lived, possibly returning to form after the election.

Growth also showed signs of flattening in the robust Hamilton and Tauranga markets, and other main centres were showing signs of coming off the boil.

However, buyer demand was still strong in Dunedin, where prices have lifted 15 to 17 per cent annually, and Wellington, where house prices had risen a record 21 per cent.

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In the Capital, first home buyers had spiked over recent months, level-pegging with investors at 32 per cent each of the market.

The city was too expensive for many, so Upper Hutt had led the way in house price growth, with Porirua and Lower Hutt not far behind.

Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford was critical of the fact that nearly half of all house sales in Auckland were to investors, and less than one in five were to first home buyers.

"The CoreLogic report shows that investor activity is on the rise, building consents are declining, and the country needs to be building a thousand extra houses a month just to keep up with the burgeoning population."

 Labour's election promise is to build 100,000 affordably priced houses, to crack down on speculation and to dismantle tax advantages for investors over home buyers. 

 - Stuff

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