Alanah Eriksen

Alanah Eriksen is the New Zealand Herald's property reporter, and assistant chief reporter.

The great divide: Auckland v provinces

Buyers could snap up four Tokoroa houses for the cost of a single bedroom in top Super City suburbs, Real Estate Institute figures show

The Real Estate Institute calculates a single bedroom in a Remuera house would cost $376,850.
The Real Estate Institute calculates a single bedroom in a Remuera house would cost $376,850.

Auckland house prices have surged so much that the cost of just one bedroom in the suburb of Remuera is more than four times the price of an entire house in Tokoroa.

The Real Estate Institute (Reinz) has worked out the median cost of a bedroom in some of Auckland's most expensive suburbs and compared it with the median houses prices in some affordable towns around the country.

The figures are based on house sales over the past 12 months and include land values.

The median price of a bedroom in Remuera, where the median sale price was more than $1.3 million, was $376,850. That compares with the median price of an entire house in Tokoroa, which was $87,500.

"It highlights what we've been pointing out for a while, that the real price inflation issues are concentrated on our biggest city, and in Christchurch," said Reinz chief executive Helen O'Sullivan. "It's going to be a different lifestyle certainly [in Tokoroa]. A huge part of the equation is simply demand and supply.

"There's a lot more places to put houses in Tokoroa, than in Remuera."

But it wasn't just regional New Zealand that was lagging behind in price — some suburbs outside the central city weren't moving as fast, Ms O'Sullivan said.

"You can nip out to Papakura and find lots of properties in the under $400,000 zone and you cannot find the same kind of property in Remuera with the same price tag, because one is very fashionable and one is less so."

But she said the perception of some suburbs was changing.


The median price of housing in Tokoroa is $87,500.

"Places like Onehunga, Meadowbank and Kingsland — which neighbour very fashionable suburbs — have seen significant increases in price."

The Reinz only looked at homes with between one and five rooms to eliminate any "extreme outliers" and the figures were as at April 31.

Other hot city suburbs included Mt Eden, which had a median bedroom price of $317,833. That could buy you an entire home and a bit for the median price in Gore ($174,000) or two homes in Riverton ($141,000).

The median sales price overall in Mt Eden was $963,500.

Reinz also looked at the bedroom price in some of Auckland's cheaper, often first home-buyer, suburbs but they were still the same price as two whole houses in Tokoroa.

New Lynn had a bedroom price of $181,639 and Henderson's was $165,946. The institute did not look at Herne Bay because there were not many sales compared with the other suburbs.

Mike McColl of Newmarket's Evolution Realty was not surprised at the figures. "Everyone wants to live in Auckland. People live in the city because that's where the work is and ... the vibe is. That's why prices in New York and London are still holding while prices in the rest of the UK and the rest of the States aren't. People want to be close to work."

Barfoot & Thompson figures this week showed the company sold 188 properties for more than $1 million in May, and 343 sold for less than $500,000.


Guttenbeil's not out of his league with design


Awen redesigned and remodelled his home, which was built in 1880.

Unlikely house designer Awen Guttenbeil has renovated his family home and put it on the market.

The former rugby league star is expected to get far more for the four-bedroom weatherboard in Grey Lynn than its council valuation of $1.42 million, set in 2011.

He bought the property with wife Natasha for $830,000 in March 2010.

The house is in one of the skyrocketing suburbs that the Real Estate Institute looked at to see what just one bedroom would be worth. The median price was $304,908 — more than three times the price of a whole house in Tokoroa, where the median is $87,500. The house median price in Grey Lynn is $1,262,500.

Guttenbeil's home was built in 1880 but Ray White agent Tricia Lafferty said the former Warrior-turned-broadcaster had completely "redesigned and remodelled" the home.

She played on the 38-year-old's status in her listing online, saying: "As an elite sports person our owner knows focus and courage is needed to achieve your goals.

"When he and his family decided to turn his less known passion of design into this incredible family home, people were shocked."

The 269sqm home has three bathrooms and a 582sqm section.

- NZ Herald

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