Auckland house sales dropping - QV

First-home buyers in Auckland are facing tougher hurdles than ever before, as average house prices sit around $1 million and banks toughen their lending criteria. 

The latest QV figures shows sale volumes have decreased by 30 percent mainly due to banks' tougher stance on loans.

It's the lowest level of activity for first-home buyers in Auckland in more than 20 years, QV spokesperson Andrea Rush says. 

"In terms of the first-home buyer numbers in Auckland, classification data is showing you it's at the lowest rate in more than 20 years."

QV Auckland homevalue manager James Steele says building activity has also slowed.

"...Builders are finding building costs have increased but they are not achieving the same sale prices as they were last year.

"There are still some opportunities for first home buyers to purchase homes in Takanini, Papakura and Pukekohe priced under the KiwiSaver first home buyers’ scheme cap at $650,000.

"However there are reports of deals falling over as buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to raise finance under banks’ increasingly strict lending criteria." 

  • Across the country, residential property values for June increased 8.1 percent over the past year - the slowest annual rate since March 2015.
  • Values rose by 1.2 percent over the past three months.
  • The nationwide average value is now $639,051 - 54.2 percent above the previous market peak of late 2007.
  • When adjusted for inflation the nationwide annual increase drops slightly to 5.9 percent and values are now 28.8 percent above the 2007 peak.

The Wellington and Christchurch markets are also flat but sales in the regions are on the up as buyers look for more affordable homes.

Strong migration to Tauranga has forced a rent increase making it the third most expensive city in New Zealand.