House price rise spreads to regions

  • 13/04/2016
House price rise spreads to regions

House price records are being smashed across the country.

The Real Estate Institute's March figures show other regions are now feeling the effects of Auckland's skyrocketing market.

Median prices in our biggest city shot above $800,000 for the first time, to $820,000.

Central Otago Lakes saw a massive jump in its average prices, up 26.5 percent compared to the same time last year.

In Waikato and Bay of Plenty, the median increase was 22.1 percent. The region also had its strongest March sales in 11 years.

Hamilton's mayor Julie Hardaker told the Paul Henry programme this morning she believes the city's price rises are being driven by an influx of Aucklanders moving south.

She cautioned there won't be confirmed data on this until the next census results are released.

"That is really our only way of knowing what is happening. But, on the ground people are telling me that Aucklanders are buying here, particularly in the northern suburbs and commuting. And with the Waikato Expressway, of course that makes it a lot easier."

Ms Hardaker says the influx is a bit of a catch-22. While she and the council welcome those moving to the city, it comes at a cost.

"We're not going to stop the flow of people who want to live in our great city, and our great regions. But for local authorities the big challenge is how do we keep funding that growth with infrastructure and the cost of infrastructure?"

Ms Hardaker says with such an increase, the council has to consider the cost of roading, water supply and infrastructure for the newcomers, which can be costly.

Despite a jump in prices, there has been a decrease in the number of homes going on the market.

"Particularly in the last month the real estate agencies have been telling me that it's getting quite low now for our city."

She says this could be a flow-on effect from an increase in the number of investment properties being bought by Aucklanders in the Hamilton area.