City house prices leap 5.6pc in a year

By Sonya Bateson

1 comment
Tauranga Harcourts managing director Simon Martin said low sales volumes were a trend in Tauranga that would continue. Photo / APN
Tauranga Harcourts managing director Simon Martin said low sales volumes were a trend in Tauranga that would continue. Photo / APN

House prices in Tauranga are up more than 5 per cent since last year and agents are hinting now is the time to sell.

Tauranga recorded a 5.6 per cent rise in the year to July to an average current value of $474,570, according to state valuer Quotable Value.

Western Bay values rose 3.2 per cent to $410,366 in the same period.

Local values remain well below their 2007 market peak, with Tauranga down 5.6 per cent and Western Bay down 8.9 per cent.

QV registered valuer for Tauranga Mairi Macdonald said sales volumes in Tauranga were decreasing but values in the city were still increasing slightly.

"Fewer lower value homes are selling due to the LVR lending restrictions and properties are also taking longer to sell, especially those under $350,000.

"However, we are seeing more demand for higher value properties - typically over $500,000 - due to out of town buyers and there is some evidence of investors looking for higher value properties."

Neville Falconer, franchise owner of LJ Hooker Bay of Plenty, said there was a shortage of listings in Tauranga, which was to the benefit of vendors listing their homes before the spring rush.

"I can't see any real reason why things would change dramatically. The supply should ease a bit, like it usually does in spring time," he said.

Mr Falconer said there was "healthy movement" in some price brackets, especially in the low to middle part of the market.

"A property that you could look at and get for $350,000 to $375,000 a year ago, you're looking at another $25,000 today."

Tauranga Harcourts managing director Simon Martin said low sales volumes were a trend in Tauranga that would continue.

Property values were up because of the LVR restrictions and the increasing Official Cash Rate. "We've noticed our average sale prices are a lot higher."

Realty Services chief executive Ross Stanway said a 5.6 per cent increase in values was consistent with increases in the past few months.

"Volumes were down and certainly the level of stock on the market is down, there are quite low levels of stock for sale. What is on the market is selling fairly quickly.

"It's a good time for people to put their properties on the market, because there's low stock and there are buyers out there."

Nationwide values jumped 7.6 per cent over the past 12 months to an average of $479,193.

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- Additional reporting APNZ

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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