Prices rising $1000 a week

By Mike Dinsdale

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CLIMBING VALUES: The median property price in Northland has risen by almost $1000 a week over the past year.
CLIMBING VALUES: The median property price in Northland has risen by almost $1000 a week over the past year.

Northland's median property price has risen almost $1000 a week this past year, with demand far outstripping supply.

Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) figures show that last month Northland property sales set a new record median of $376,000, up $51,000 - $980.76 a week - or 16 per cent compared with July 2015.

REINZ Northland/Auckland spokesman Bryan Thomson said an issue for the Northland market was that demand far outstripped supply, with stock for sale in the region halving over the past year.

The growth in the North has not surprised Mr Thomson who said that, to a large extent, it was a case of the region finally catching up with Auckland.

"The story over the last four to five years in the regions has been very interesting. Normally when the Auckland market rises the other markets then catch up, but over this cycle Auckland has been very strong while regions like Northland haven't, so it's been a two-speed market," he said.

"Over the past year to 18 months Northland has started to pick up after a stagnating and now it's really catching up."

Prices continue to rise in many regions, showing demand is still firm. Sales volumes remain below previous periods, as a shortage of supply affects buyers, who are struggling to find properties to buy, and forcing up prices.

Mr Thomson said the Northland market was definitely benefiting from Auckland as people from our largest city looked further afield for affordable rental properties, or even to live. Because of the price of investment properties in Auckland people are looking for options where there's a strong rental market and relatively low prices - that's Northland, particularly Whangarei," he said.

"Also you are seeing the effects of people with Northland links coming back to the region to live, either from elsewhere in New Zealand or from overseas, returning to their roots. There are also parts of Northland that are an easy commute to Auckland, particularly the North Shore, and as transport links improve that will happen more."

While fewer properties were for sale at the moment, driving up prices, more would be listed as spring approached, with summer traditionally when the most homes were listed for sale.

"In spring there will be more listings coming through, but I'm not sure how many at this stage and whether that will meet demand is yet to be seen. At the moment there's far more demand than supply so homes are selling very fast and people will notice far fewer 'for sale' signs up around the place," he said.

"All the stock that had been on the market for years or months has basically now sold and anything new to the market gets snapped up. And don't forget that Northland is one of the natural wonders of the world and that makes it an attractive place to live."

Hot spots are Whangarei Heads, Waipu, Paihia and Tutukaka.

Northland is one of four regions (including Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Manawatu/Wanganui) to hit new record-high median sale prices, while the national median price increased (0.8 per cent) to $505,000 from $500,000 last month.

- Northern Advocate

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