Deposit prices drop for first-home buyers


There's some welcome relief for first-home buyers with average prices for less expensive houses going off the boil.

Prices aren't dropping everywhere but data from website shows that home buyers will need less of a deposit in Auckland, Wellington and Hamilton.

This is the second month that prices in some regions have dropped, but the first time in Auckland.

"This is the first bit of good news first home buyers have had in years," Jeremy Hanlon of  says.

"Last month's blip is now clearly looking like a breath of fresh air for those trying to get onto the property ladder."

Figures for September/October show that houses in the lower quartile - that's the average of the cheaper half of the market - have dropped by $8000 in Auckland, from $710,000 to $702,000.

Deposit prices drop for first-home buyers

The drop is even bigger in Wellington, prices down by $11,250 to $537,000.

Hot Hamilton has also lost some heat. Prices have dropped $6,250 to $451,750.

That means saving $1250 less for each a 20 percent deposit in Hamilton, $1,600 less in Auckland and $2,250 less in Wellington.

Christchurch has bucked the trend, house prices in the cheaper range have remained flat at $366,250.

Mr Hanlon says it's too early to say what is behind the move.

However, Auckland's largest real estate agency Barfoot and Thompson released its own figures this week showing that the Auckland market is losing its momentum.

Greater availability of property for sale meant buyers were feeling less pressure to pay the asking price.

Barfoot and Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said: "The new LVRs investors must meet has had a significant impact on sales in the under $500,000 price category. In spite of there being a reasonable selection of properties available only 40 homes - or 5.1 per cent of all properties - sold for under $500,000."

"With the normal spring lift in sales activity failing to arrive this year, the relationship between buyers and sellers has moved into a more balanced position."