CoreLogic New Zealand takes an in-depth look at suburb-level property data, revealing a surprising market upswing.
Upmarket shopping district Herne Bay remains New Zealand’s (NZ) most expensive suburb with a median value of $3.16 million.
However, in terms of value growth, cheaper areas reign supreme.
Reflecting better relative affordability and easier access for a wider range of buyers, Manunui in Ruapehu District on the North Island saw median values rise by 51.8 per cent in the past year (to $295,000).
A ‘provincial’ South Island suburb has also taken the prize as the fastest-selling. Hargest in Invercargill boasted a median time on market of just six days, over the past year.
Provisionally, the top sale so far in 2021 has been a 1978 five-bedroom property in the North Island’s Takapuna, for $13.75 million.
CoreLogic Chief Property Economist Kelvin Davidson said would-be home buyers still have options, despite the strong growth in major cities across NZ.
“Of course, many suburbs within the main centres have also experienced very strong growth,” Mr Davidson said.
“Median values in Otara (Auckland) are up by 31.4 per cent over the past year, Enderley (Hamilton) also cracked 30 per cent, and Wainuiomata (wider Wellington) hit 35.3 per cent growth.
“The top growth suburbs in Tauranga, Christchurch, and Dunedin were all in the range of 20 per cent to 25 per cent.”
However, the data showed a number of Christchurch suburbs had a median property value of less than $400,000.
Mr Davidson said this was consistent with other indicators that showed the city was relatively affordable and would potentially appeal to those looking to relocate.
The cheapest suburb in the country is Runanga in the Grey District ($167,000).
Some suburbs or small towns across the lower South Island have seen increases of less than 5 per cent in the past 12 months – including Wallacetown (Southland), Frankton (Queenstown), Twizel, and Te Anau.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the speed of sale, single-digit days on the NZ market have been common for many parts of the country.
Suburbs in Invercargill, Nelson, Hamilton, Upper Hutt, and Gore have all had median days on the market of fewer than 10 over the past year, while even in the main centres, property has generally been shifting in two to three weeks. The longest time on market across most of the main centres has only been four to five weeks.
A look outside the NZ main centres
CoreLogic’s review of activity in ‘provincial’ New Zealand confirms the widespread nature of this latest property market upturn.
This excludes Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington (Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua), Christchurch and Dunedin.
In terms of the highest median values, the rest of South Island top 10 is dominated by Queenstown, with Kelvin Heights on top ($2.03 million).
The rest of North Island top 10 features suburbs in Thames Coromandel (including Hahei at $1.34 million), Western Bay of Plenty, and Napier.
By contrast, the West Coast and Southland have the lowest median values in the rest of the South Island, while South Taranaki, Ruapehu, and Far North have the lowest median values in the rest of the North Island.
Looking at the strongest growth around the provinces, a number of suburbs in Ruapehu and Gisborne have seen median values increase by 40 per cent or more in the past 12 months.
Although the overall gains have been slower across the rest of the South Island markets, Cobden (Grey) has headed the field (25.1 per cent), followed by a number of suburbs across Invercargill and Marlborough.
Suburbs that have lagged a little include Tinopai (Kaipara) at a 2.4 per cent rise and Wallacetown (Southland) at 0.6 per cent.
In terms of shortest time on market, the res of the South Island top 10 is dominated by parts of Nelson and Invercargill, including Marybank and Hargest at six days apiece.
Across the rest of the North Island, three of the top 10 are represented by suburbs in Palmerston North, including Ashhurst, Takaro, and Westbrook, all with a median time to sell over the past year of just eight days. Looking at slower-moving suburbs, the Far North features for the rest of the North Island and parts of Buller and Southland for the rest of the South Island.
Finally, for top sales, the rest of the South Island top 10 is again dominated by Queenstown, although Tasman also makes an entry. For the rest of the North Island, it’s no surprise to see Hastings (Havelock North) feature, along with Kapiti Coast, Thames-Coromandel, Waikato, and Waipa.
“It’s been a hectic first half of the year for the property market, but nothing lasts forever,” Mr Davidson said.
“We have always been expecting a slowdown in both sales volumes and property value growth in the second half of 2021 and into 2022, and that remains on track – especially now that fixed mortgage rates, or those on longer terms, are rising.”
Mr Davidson believes the market is now very close to (or has already reached) the peak of the upswing.
“With population growth having generally outpaced property supply increases over a period of several years, we’re anticipating a slowdown, not an outright downturn,” he said.