Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones is the New Zealand Herald’s education reporter.

Auckland's average house-sale price reaches a record $697,454

The proportion of first-home buyers in the market has declined in most centres. Photo / APN
The proportion of first-home buyers in the market has declined in most centres. Photo / APN

First-home buyers may be squeezed out but property prices in Auckland remain high as one agency reports record average sale prices.

March residential data from Harcourts for Auckland and Northland shows its average sales price now sits at a record high of $697,454.

That is up 12 per cent on the same time last year and 9 per cent on February's figures.

New analysis this week showed mortgage-lending restrictions have dampened demand from first-home buyers, and interest rates have also gone up.

But Harcourts chief executive Hayden Duncan said its figures showed overall demand was undented as "there are more buyers than there are houses".

"The only way to slow prices in Auckland is the mass construction of new houses to meet the demand.

"While more construction is planned, we are a long way off achieving the numbers needed. Expect prices to continue to climb for some time yet."

However, property figures released this week from QV.co.nz show the rate of growth in property values across the Auckland region has slowed considerably.

National spokeswoman Andrea Rush said the loan-to-value ratio limits and the Reserve Bank signalling further interest rate hikes had likely contributed to a levelling-off in the growth of Auckland property values.

"For the first time in more than two years we are seeing a decrease in some areas of that market."

Home-loan changes introduced in October restricted the amount of high LVR loans that banks can issue, and banks can now make fewer loans to customers with less than a 20 per cent mortgage deposit.

The proportion of first-home buyers in the market has declined in most centres since those restrictions, according to property data company Core Logic.

Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer has previously indicated that LVR restrictions will be eased or removed as interest rates move back to more-normal levels.

- NZ Herald

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