Auckland housing market spirals down

  • 15/11/2017

Auckland house prices have tumbled in the biggest fall since 2010.

A new Real Estate Institute (REINZ) report shows median prices in Auckland fell by 3.2 percent year-on-year to $850,000 - the largest decline since December 2010.

The only other New Zealand regions to experience a fall in the median price was Nelson, which saw a decrease of 6.8 percent to $447,500 - its biggest drop since April 2012.

"The Auckland Region's decrease of 3.2 percent year-on-year is predominantly the result of a large number of apartments being sold in the old Auckland City boundary, which has therefore brought the median price down for the entire region," says REINZ CEO Bindi Norwell.

"Auckland City's median fell by 17 percent to $850,000, the lowest price it's been for 16 months."

The largest decreases in median prices were in the Maungakiekie-Tamaki and Albany wards, which experienced a decrease of 14 percent and 4 percent respectively.

Ms Norwell says part of the fall in prices is due to the effects of the Reserve Bank's loan-to-value lending restrictions (LVRs) and the REINZ is looking forward to the bank's review of possibly removing these.

"This data is evidence that the LVR restrictions have done their job of slowing the market, which is why REINZ has repeatedly called for LVRs to be reviewed for first-time buyers," she says.

Overall, the number of properties sold across New Zealand was down 16 percent to 5,689.

Volumes for New Zealand, excluding Auckland, were down 14 percent to 4,057 and Auckland's sales count was down 21 percent to 1,632.

Ms Norwell says prices may remain unsettled due to a lack of clarity about how new Government's policies will affect the housing market.

"Uncertainty post-election remains as it did pre-election, with concern as to how the policies of the new Government will play out," she continues.

"There is much discussion about the effects new immigration policies and potential Overseas Investment Act changes may have on the market going forward."