Auckland stays hot but towns chilly

Photo / Greg Bowker
Photo / Greg Bowker

Today's Herald QV Quarterly Property Report underlines how heated segments of the property market are - with Auckland again leading the way.

But the warmth is matched by cold elsewhere - with prices in the provinces, with the exception of Hamilton, stagnating or going down.

In a sellers' market, Auckland-wide sale volumes over the winter - traditionally a flat time for sales and prices - were back at peak 2007 levels.

Low mortgage rates and strong demand have seen prices in some central city suburbs pushed above the 2007 market peak by between 15 and 24 per cent.

Star suburbs remain Grey Lynn, Westmere, Kingsland, Ponsonby and Sandringham, with blue chip Herne Bay, St Marys Bay and Epsom also performing well.

Agents report areas such as Pt Chevalier, Mt Albert, Western Springs and Kingsland are starting to join Mt Eden and Epsom as city-fringe "destination suburbs".

Demand in the central city has spread to the North Shore and parts of Auckland's south and west.

The central QV data of the report reveal just 15 of the 153 city suburbs showed price drops in the three months to the end of June.

"I don't think it's strong and pumping across the whole city," said QV valuer Jan O'Donoghue.

"But we are certainly seeing steady increases ahead of wage growth, primed by very low mortgage rates."

North Island provincial towns, cities and suburbs are struggling, with some prices down by more than 20 per cent compared to 2007. Sixty-five of the 118 towns and suburbs north of Turangi declined in the quarter.

Hamilton has provided the only encouragement.

QV valuer Richard Allen said the city is starting to "tick along quite well" after slow progress out of the troughs following the 2007 peak.

- NZ Herald

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