Auckland house price virus spreads

North Shore, where house prices are up 16.1 percent on last year (Getty)
North Shore, where house prices are up 16.1 percent on last year (Getty)

House prices aren't rising as fast in Auckland as they were, but it's still dire news for anyone looking to buy their first home.

Values in the red-hot market have risen 16.5 percent in the past 12 months, reports Quotable Value (QV), a slight drop from March (16.9 percent).

In the last quarter they're up 1.5 percent, reversing a slight dip at the end of 2015.

Nationwide, prices are up 12 percent annually, 2.1 percent in the last quarter and 37.1 percent up on the pre-global financial crisis peak.

Auckland is up a whopping 72.5 percent on 2007, the average value hitting $942,760.

"All the main centres around New Zealand and many regional centres have seen home values increase during April, with the promise of continued low record interest rates providing confidence in the housing sector," says QV spokesperson Andrea Rush.

Auckland's increasing unaffordability has seen potential buyers look south.

"All parts of the Auckland region are rising again however at a slower rate than many other upper North Island centres such as Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua as well as in the districts surrounding areas like the Thames Coromandel, Waipa, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako and Waikato Districts," says Ms Rush.

Hamilton values are up 25.3 percent to $471,072, but QV says they're regularly selling for $100,000 more than this.

Elsewhere in Waikato, they're up even more -- 26.7 percent.

"Competition and demand is underpinned by Auckland investors, Hamilton investors, first-home buyers and other locals, all vying for the same properties, which continues to drive values up," says valuer Stephan Hare.

North of the super city, Kaipara values are up 9 percent and the Far North, 4.4 percent.

Total sales were lower in April than in March, but Ms Rush says this is typical of the month, which contains both school holidays and the Anzac weekend.

In Auckland, Papakura leads the way with prices up 24.4 percent in the last year. Manukau values are up 20.8 percent, Waitakere 17.7 percent, Rodney 17.3 percent, Franklin 18.7 percent and North Shore, 16.1 percent.

Valuer James Wilson says much of the growth is being driven by buyers looking to buy at any cost, particularly ahead of the Auckland Unitary Plan's implementation.

"Increasingly we are witnessing unconditional offers being made in order to secure a property without completing adequate due diligence. This behaviour is driven by a growing fear of missing out which appears to be rife across the market currently," he says.

"Properties which offer potential for intensification under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan are increasingly popular."

Tauranga prices are up 21.5 percent year-on-year, and Wellington, 8.4 percent. Down south, Christchurch is up 3.4 percent and Dunedin, 9 percent.

Low interest rates have contributed to the boom, but with figures today showing soft wage inflation, the Reserve Bank is unlikely to raise them anytime soon.


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