The Auckland housing market hit a new milestone this week as the QV House Price Index for August saw the average value for the Auckland region top $1 million -- reaching $1,013,632.
The breakdown of how this looks can be seen by the qv.co.nz median E-Valuer figures which are generated for 210 suburbs across the super city region. You can check your suburb at qv.co.nz.
This data shows Auckland has 90 million-dollar suburbs compared with just seven in 2007. Back then there were also 80 suburbs with a median value of less than $500,000 -- now there are just four.
Two of these comprise much of Auckland's apartment stock, in Auckland Central where the median value is $472,500 and Grafton, $494,400.
It is important to remember that though apartments may seem more affordable up front, owners also have ongoing annual body corporate fees to pay.
The only places with stand-alone homes below $500,000 are more than an hour's drive (off-peak) from the city centre -- in Wellsford to the north, which has a median value of $471,250, and Parakai where the median is $488,450.
There is also a second $2 million suburb with Saint Marys Bay now joining the club with neighbouring Herne Bay, where the median value is $2,070,200.
The historic, leafy, central city fringe suburbs of Ponsonby, Grey Lynn and Mt Eden are well into the million-dollar range and values are likely to continue to rise there.
Under the new Auckland Unitary Plan there is little new land being made available for more housing in these suburbs and the majority will remain in the single dwelling zoning. This inability to build much more housing in these desirable inner city suburbs will keep values rising.
Growth in the Auckland housing market continues to be driven by record high net migration, record low interest rates and an environment where New Zealand has very few taxes on the property market -- compared with most other countries.
The new LVR restrictions being adopted by lenders requiring property investors to have a 40 per cent deposit -- up from 30 per cent in the Auckland region and 20 per cent in the rest of the country -- do appear to be biting.
Sales volumes and auction clearances rates have dropped over the past month, although many commentators think the impact of this on value growth may only be short term, and history has shown this.
The latest CoreLogic buyer classification data shows that about 46 per cent of sales in quarter three in Auckland were to investors, but it's still not clear how many of these sales were to foreigners. The Land Information (LINZ) data does not give a true indication of this as it only measures foreign tax residency.
The Canadian city of Vancouver, which has had a similar meteoric rise in residential property values as Auckland, has introduced a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers and this has had an immediate impact on the market there.