$1m-plus but worlds apart

By Morgan Tait, Bruce Morris

This tired Grey Lynn villa sold for $1.2 million.
This tired Grey Lynn villa sold for $1.2 million.

A rundown three-bedroom Auckland villa with a large hole in the toilet floor and watermarked ceilings has sold for $1.2 million - $75,000 more than the asking price for a three-storey Tauranga mansion with harbour views and a swimming pool.

The two examples show the widening gap between Auckland's property market and provincial New Zealand, as revealed in the Herald's quarterly Property Report today.

Bayleys real estate agent Gavin Perry, said houses rarely came up for sale in the popular Tauranga location, just five blocks from the CBD.

"It's very interesting what you can buy in Tauranga nowadays for $1 million, which is actually what seems like the entry price you can buy for in some parts of Auckland."

The property market was starting to pick up in the coastal city after a slow few years, due in part to interest from Auckland buyers, he said.

The Property Report has revealed Auckland prices have risen 4.1 per cent in the past three months to an average sale price of $644,973.

Most of the rest of provincial New Zealand has seen growth of less than 1.1 per cent.

Tauranga city had an average price of $428,908 - a rise of just 0.4 per cent - in the three months to June, according to the data supplied by Quotable Value.

 12 Fifth Avenue Tauranga - on the market for $1,125,000. Photo / supplied
12 Fifth Avenue Tauranga - on the market for $1,125,000. Photo / supplied

Hamilton rose 0.6 per cent, Taupo 0.9 per cent, Hastings 0.9 per cent and Wellington city 0.5 per cent. Rotorua rose the most outside of Auckland at 1.8 per cent to an average price of $268,490. Wanganui fell 1.5 per cent.

Suburbs in Auckland that had the biggest increase in house prices were Ponsonby, Pinehill and Sunnyvale, while outside of the region, Fairy Springs and Kawaha Pt in Rotorua were the best performers along with Greerton in Tauranga.

And the most expensive suburbs in the country are all in Auckland - Herne Bay (average $1.7 million), St Marys Bay ($1.4 million), and Stanley Pt ($1.2 million). Mataura in Southland produced the country's cheapest sale - a $10,000 home. That's 580 times less than the most expensive house - a $5.8 million mansion on Herne Bay's Marine Parade.

Lloyd Anderson, a Harcourts agency owner in Gore, said Aucklanders "must have rocks in their head" to put up with the high prices and constant traffic jams.

Jonno Ingerson, research director of PropertyIQ, said just after the market peak in 2007, Auckland prices increased 19.5 per cent, compared with 5.6 per cent for the rest of the country.

ANZ senior economist Sharon Zollner said the Reserve Bank was sounding "less relaxed" about the rise in prices.

"It is warning that Auckland house prices are moving well ahead of levels that can be justified ... and that an ugly correction could result at some point."

Grey Lynn v Tauranga

49 Rose Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Sold for: $1.2 million
CV: $680,000, 354sq m section, 80sq m floorspace, 3 double bedrooms, 1 lounge, 1 bathroom, 1 carport.

The Grey Lynn villa sold for $1.2m (CV$680,000) with this hole in the toilet floor.
The Grey Lynn villa sold for $1.2m (CV$680,000) with this hole in the toilet floor.

12 Fifth Ave, Tauranga

Asking price: $1.125 million
CV: $945,000, 456sq m section, 340sq m floorspace, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms plus guest powder room, 2 large living areas, In-ground swimming pool, 3 car garage and off-street parking, Harbour views.

- NZ Herald

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