The City of Sales

More than a third of Auckland suburbs now boast million dollar average house prices.
The extraordinary surge in Auckland's property market is revealed in new analysis and mapping of house sales. Photo / Doug Sherring
The extraordinary surge in Auckland's property market is revealed in new analysis and mapping of house sales. Photo / Doug Sherring

The extraordinary surge in Auckland's property market is revealed in new analysis and mapping of house sales.

In September 2013 there were 19 Auckland suburbs with average property values above $1 million. Just two years later this once exclusive club consisted of 58 suburbs - more than a third of the region, the figures from QV show.

That number has jumped to 61 since September last year - and five more suburbs are on the brink of joining the club.

In 2013 the million-dollar suburbs were confined to coastal stretches of the North Shore, the Eastern Bays, a cluster of suburbs around Ponsonby, Mellons Bay and the leafy streets of Epsom, Remuera and Orakei.

By September 2015 more than half the North Shore, Central, Eastern and Waiheke suburbs had crossed the threshold. And in Herne Bay, Auckland has its first $2 million suburb. Despite a lull in the rapid growth, two other suburbs - St Mary's Bay and Remuera - are tipped to cross that threshold this year.

Geographer Chris McDowall has analysed the data to create a new map of the city laying bare the remarkable ascent of property prices.

He says Auckland's geography creates a challenge for home-buyers and planners due to its two harbours and volcano and hill ranges. "When you remove the water and the hills, relatively little livable space remains," says McDowall.

"Our city's population is crammed into a narrow isthmus, sprawls along coastlines and nestles at the base of hills. These maps address the uneven distribution of residential areas by giving each suburb its own map tile, in a grid that approximates Auckland's geography."

The maps show the average values of each suburb and how much it each has risen. They also show the change in where property is being bought and sold.

"The 2015 map indicates that high numbers of properties are sold mainly in more affordable outer suburbs such as Henderson, Manurewa and Papatoetoe.

"St Heliers, Epsom , Mt Eden and Remuera constitute interesting exceptions."

CoreLogic predicts that Auckland house prices may dip slightly due to Government and Reserve Bank restrictions and foreign buyers less active.

"However, mortgage interest rates are at historic lows, migration at historic highs, and there is a substantial shortage of housing in Auckland," said Director of Research Jonno Ingerson. "These are strong factors putting upward pressure on Auckland prices, and as a result any drop in values is likely to be shallow and short-lived."

- NZ Herald

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