1 Jun 2016

Property price rises pick up pace

1:20 pm on 1 June 2016
Sold sign outside a new house being built in East Auckland

Auckland's average house price was $955,793 in May. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The growth in property prices is continuing to pick up pace.

QV's national house index shows prices rose by 3.9 percent in the three months to May, and 12.4 percent for the year.

The average national property price was $577,829 in May, an increase of 2 percent compared with the previous month.

In Auckland, the market has increased 15.4 percent year on year and 3.3 percent over the past three months.

That pushed the average to $955,793, and QV National Spokesperson Andrea Rush expects that to rise further, driven by population growth and investor demand.

"If values continue to rise at the same rate during 2016, then by this time next year the average value will top $1 million."

She said prices were accelerating in other parts of the country too.

"Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Dunedin and Queenstown values continue to see particularly strong very growth, as do many other regional centres and smaller towns located within commuting distance of these main centres.

"The Christchurch market, by comparison, is slow and steady with normal levels of activity and sales volumes but little value growth as supply is now meeting demand for housing in the city."

Sold sign outside a house in East Auckland

House listings are continuing to drop nationally. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Fewer houses for sale

Meanwhile, realestate.co.nz said the number of houses on the market was at an all-time low, as house prices rose.

The number of properties that came onto the market nationally in May, dropped by 7.1 percent from the previous month.

According to the website, the number of houses for sale dropped in most regions, while the average asking price was up by 7.2 percent, reaching $510,971.

Realestate.co.nz spokesperson Vanessa Taylor said listings were continuing to drop nationally.

"In this environment, if no new listings were to come onto the market nationally and all the existing properties sold, theoretically there would be no properties for sale in New Zealand within 12 weeks."

Ms Taylor said Nelson recorded a record high asking price of $510,709 and saw a significant drop in listings with a decrease of 31 percent of property listings, compared to last year.

But she said houses in Waikato were becoming more popular, with Cambridge, Te Awamutu and Morrinsville the most searched towns in the region.

"We could be tempted to make an assumption that Aucklanders are looking further south to the Waikato. However data shows us that we have seen a 75 percent increase in users from the Bay of Plenty looking at the region. In saying that, the strongest interest is actually coming from users who already reside within the Waikato region."

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