Housing: Asking prices skyrocket by twice average salary over last year

The latest data from Trade Me shows the average asking price for a house in New Zealand has risen by more than twice the national average salary over the last year.

The figures released on Friday show the average asking price reached an all-time high of $846,900 in August, up 21 percent or $143,950 year-on-year. That's the largest annual increase on record.

"According to our latest Trade Me Jobs data, this increase is 2.2 times the national average salary, which is sitting at $64,939 as of Q2 (April-June) this year," Gavin Lloyd, Trade Me Property's sales director.

Record average asking prices were seen in every region, with the largest jumps being in Manawatu/Whanganui (up 30 percent to $589,350), Wellington (up 26 percent to $867,050) and Hawke's Bay (up 23 percent to $737,050).

"As expected, the COVID-19 Alert Level restrictions had a significant impact on market supply and demand in August which comes as no surprise considering you cannot buy or sell a house under the Level 4 restrictions," Lloyd said.

There was a 31 percent drop in the number of properties listed for sale on the website in August when compared with the same month last year. Demand was also down 24 percent year-on-year.

"New Zealand's property market has been running hot since we came out of lockdown in 2020, despite many predicting we would see it slow down. As we've seen after previous lockdowns, we're expecting listing numbers will make a quick recovery as restrictions are lifted and we move down alert levels."

Housing: Asking prices skyrocket by twice average salary over last year
Photo credit: Trade Me

The average asking price in Auckland hit $1,104,200 in August, with Waiheke being the most expensive district ($1,718,500), followed by North Shore City ($1,298,800) and Rodney ($1,219,200). Auckland City's average asking price sits at $1,186,400, the fourth highest in the region. 

Supply was down 20 percent across Auckland, while demand fell 29 percent. The most popular Auckland property on the site last month was a three-bedroom house on Caspian Close, New Lynn with an asking price of $700,000. It was watch-listed 288 times in its first two days.

In Wellington, the most expensive district is Wellington City at $944,050. It's followed by Porirua, which entered the $900,000 bracket for the first time with an average asking price of $929,000. Kapiti Coast ($886,750) comes in third.

Lloyd said supply dropped 18 percent, while "interestingly, demand in the region was down 35 percent, the biggest drop of all regions". The most popular property for sale in the country was a two-bedroom house on Wilton Rd, Wilton. It had an asking price of $625,000 and received 372 watchlists in its first two days on the site.