House prices bouncing back, apartments and townhouses lagging behind as market heats up – Trade Me

House prices are showing signs of bouncing back as we enter spring but not for townhouses, apartments or units which are all facing dropping prices.    

Trade Me's newly released Property Price Index shows the national average asking price for a property was up 0.4 percent in September compared to August, following an identical 0.4 percent increase in August, sitting at $840,050.    

"Aotearoa's property market has started to show signs of bouncing back as we start moving into the warmer months," Trade Me property sales director Gavin Lloyd said. "While prices have certainly dropped since the peak highs seen in 2021, they now seem to be levelling out.   

"Buyers looking to take advantage of the market might find the time is now as we head into the summer months, where we tend to see an increase in demand."  

Lloyd said compared with September last year the national average asking price is still down by 6.2 percent but this is expected to change as cashed-up buyers get in before prices really start to increase.     

However, apartments, townhouses and units appear to be bucking the trend with prices down across the board in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch cities.     

The biggest drop was for apartment living in Christchurch - with the average asking price down 16.2 percent to $652,700.    

"There are lots of benefits for picking a townhouse or apartment - particularly for younger and first home buyers, so I am sure many potential buyers will be watching this trend in Christchurch," Lloyd said    

"Apartment hunters in Auckland and Wellington might also find now is the time - with the average asking price in Auckland down 7.5 percent and Wellington down 10.2 percent."    

Smaller houses are also coming down in price, particularly 1-2 bedrooms in Auckland, down 11 percent, and Wellington, down 4 percent year-on-year.    

Wellington seeing a rebound 

But prices in Wellington are beginning to heat up after the capital saw huge drops over the past few years. The average asking price in the city is up 1.4 percent from last year to $894,900 in September.     

"Wellington saw some of the biggest price increases at the peak of the market, so it makes sense that after a bit of a correction the prices are also heading back up," he said.     

The whole region has seen a modest rebound in every region except Porirua - down 1.2 percent year-on-year.     

But prices are still down in the Wellington region - with asking prices 7.3 percent less than this time last year.     

"At this stage it is far too early to say whether the general election will have any impact on the housing market in Wellington - especially given Wellington is the home of Government and the public service - but it will certainly be something to keep an eye on over the next few months," Lloyd said.   

"Meanwhile in Auckland, prices went up 0.2 percent in September, so we are seeing a very stable market there. But Aucklanders are yet to see the average asking price drop below the $1 million mark - with the average asking price currently sitting at $1,134,600 for Auckland city."