Auckland housing crisis pushing regional prices up

Auckland housing crisis pushing regional prices up

After a couple of flat months, Auckland house prices have kicked off again, reaching a new record.

But the real estate ripple is spreading north and south as cashed-up Aucklanders look for a regional bargain.

Quiet coastal Bream Bay near Whangarei has become a real estate hotspot.

"The market today is unbelievable. It's absolutely going off," says Bream Bay Realty's Alan Sheddan. "It's the busiest we've been for the last seven years."

Mr Sneddan says he's running out of sections to sell. So who's buying?

"The majority of people are from Auckland," he says.

September's figures show a mini boom. House prices are up 4.4 percent on last month, and 26 percent for the year, with a big increase in turnover.

Aucklanders who haven't left town got another boost. The median price hit a new record, up 4.2 percent for the month and 25 percent for the year.

Profits are flowing south as well, to Hamilton, Tauranga and beyond.

The region's median price of $390,000 was up 10.5 percent last month, while the number of houses sold jumped 85 percent in a year.   

"Definitely we are seeing the halo effect where we are watching investors, first-home buyers, retirees moving out into the areas," says Colleen Milne of the Real Estate Institute.

Spring, confidence in the economy, a steady influx of migrants and Auckland's housing shortage are all being blamed for pushing prices up.

They're all factors for the Reserve Bank to consider when it looks at whether to cut interest rates in two weeks.

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