Election jitters hit house sales: Trade Me

  • 15/09/2017
LOWER HUTT, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 16:  A general view of empty state housing during a state house visit on July 16, 2016 in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Rising property prices and rents have contributed to a housing shortage across the country, with the Labour party claiming the crisis is affecting 98% of New Zealanders. Labour's plan to address the issue includes changing Housing NZ from a corporation into a public service and building and repairing state houses.  (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty

Auckland home buyers appear more spooked by uncertainty over the upcoming election than their regional counterparts, Trade Me says.

Asking prices for Auckland homes have dropped 2.1 per cent to $892,450 in the last year, compared to a 10.5 per cent increase in the regions, the property listing website said.

This is despite demand being high in Auckland with the number of people viewing new houses for sale jumping by 15 per cent.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries called the findings "unusual".

"The property market is usually pretty simple: if there's low stock and high demand prices go up, unless there's an external influence," he said.

"Auckland buyers seem to be slowing down as uncertainty about the election ... bites," he said.

Metro home buyers in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch were also being hit by tighter restrictions on how much money banks were willing to lend, known as loan-to-value restrictions, he said.

However, asking prices were up in regional areas, jumping to $473,450, while the number of properties for sale dropped by 19.6 per cent.

Buoyant regional prices helped drive the national average asking price up 2.7 per cent to $613,450.

"Clearly out in the regions they're not suffering the same concerns," Mr Jeffries said.

Among regional areas, asking prices in Waikato, Hawke's Bay and Wanganui each climbed more than 17 per cent in the past 12 months, while prices were up Marlborough, Nelson and Southland 10.7, 8.2 and 7.5 per cent respectively.

Nationally, small houses with one or two bedrooms were proving most popular, with the average asking price rising 6.3 per cent in the past year to $417,750.

This was most pronounced in Wellington where small house prices jumped a "staggering" 19.6 per cent to $424,050.