High end sales distort market

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Hastings had a larger number of high end sales than Napier. Photo / Andrew Labett
Hastings had a larger number of high end sales than Napier. Photo / Andrew Labett

Napier's median property price fell $38,000 over the past month while Hastings rose $15,000, however the figures are heavily influenced by high price bracket sales, a local real estate expert says.

Napier's median price dropped from $318,000 in August to $280,000 last month while Hastings saw the median price rise from $290,000 to $305,000 in the same period.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand's (REINZ) Hawke's Bay group chairman Murray Keane said: "It's all about the number of sales in the higher price bracket".

"It only takes a couple of good sales to bump that median price up and the first home buyer market is pretty low on stock."

He said Hastings had sold eight dwellings in the $500,000 to $600,000 price bracket and nine in the $400,000 to $500,000 bracket. Napier by comparison had only sold three in the $500,000 to $600,000 bracket and six in the $400,000 to $500,000 bracket.

"The top end of the market in Hastings was relatively strong."

"We are not seeing any dramatic price changes and we are not seeing any real dramatic changes in sales either."

A total of 78 dwellings were sold in Napier in September, while 77 were sold in Hastings.

Compared to September 2012 Napier's median price had dropped from $295,00 to $280,000, while Hastings' had risen from $259,000 to $305,000. The number of sales had remained similar.

Property Brokers Hawke's Bay regional manager Paul Whitaker said first home buyers were pushing to buy before the LVR (loan-to-value ratio) restrictions come in, which was reflected in the Napier median price.

"The trend is more sales at the lower end price as we see in Napier. The Hastings median price is somewhat distorted more than normal due to a few sales at the higher end."

Nationally there were 6720 dwelling sales in September, up 18.9 per cent on September last year and up 2.6 per cent compared to August. The national median price increased $10,000 compared to August, from $400,000, and is now equal to the record median set in March 2013.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Chief Executive Helen O'Sullivan said: "Real estate sales volumes have been strong in the lead up to the introduction of LVR restrictions by the Reserve Bank."

Areas experiencing positive trends include Northland, Taranaki and Nelson/Marlborough, in sales volume and price.

"While these regions are seeing the number of sales lifting, the same cannot be said for prices outside of Auckland and Canterbury/Westland. Auckland's median price has increased by $120,000 since the end of the previous price cycle in November 2007, and Canterbury/Westland's median price has increased $61,000. However, for the rest of New Zealand combined, the median price has actually fallen $3000 over the same time period."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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