Property editor of the NZ Herald

Spring pushes house prices to new highs

New data is out today from Harcourts and Trade Me Property. Photo/Chris Loufte
New data is out today from Harcourts and Trade Me Property. Photo/Chris Loufte

Spring has pushed house prices to new highs, but the country's largest agency has revealed it only has a little over two month's Auckland stock in hand.

Harcourts and Trade Me Property have just released information from last month and both cited spring arriving and the effect that is expected to have on the market.

"At current levels of sale, there is only enough stock left for 2.4 months, if no further properties were listed," said Harcourts chief executive Chris Kennedy.

"Stock levels continue to be low with just 1248 residential properties for sale in Harcourts' books," he said of Auckland properties.

"Spring will see a surge in the number of new listings and sales consultants are already reporting a lift in the number of appraisals being sought," Kennedy said.

Auckland sales by Harcourts showed the average sales price was $955,275 in August. That follows Quotable Value releasing information last week showing Auckland had hit the $1 million asking price.

However, the QV data is for all sales in the latest quarter.

Nigel Jeffries, head of Trade Me Property, said the housing market had warmed up in the three months to August.

"The sluggish property market we've seen recently is starting to gain some traction again as we shift into spring. The average asking price across New Zealand has reached a new peak of almost $600,000, a significant milestone in what has been an electrifying couple of years for the housing market," Jeffries said.

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The average asking price for a typical New Zealand property was up 7.1 per cent on a year ago, and up 1 per cent since July, Trade Me said.

The spring resurgence saw Auckland sellers' asking prices push up $7000 over the month to a new high of $858,900.

"The City of Sails saw figures up over 11 per cent compared to August last year, an annual increase of $88,000. It's we'll below the record rise that we observed a year ago when it was up an eye-popping $130,000," Jeffries said.

Otago prices are also up.

"Otago has hovered around the $400,000 mark and drifted sideways from mid-2013 right through to the end of last year. But in just the space of eight months the average asking price has risen over $70,000 to top $470,000 in August, a year-on-year boost of 20 per cent," Jeffries said.

Waikato, the Bay of Plenty and Northland saw double-digit annual growth in average asking price, all reaching record levels.

Waikato rose 19.2 per cent or $73,450 to $455,050. That was surpassed by Bay of Plenty, up 17.4 per cent or $81,300 to $549,300. Northland was up 14.1 per cent or $54,750 to $442,600.

Asking prices fell in the Hawke's Bay and on the West Coast, down 2.3 and 5.5 per cent.

Tomorrow the Real Estate Insitute of New Zealand will release its latest housing data.

Read the full Trade Me Property report here:

- NZ Herald

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