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Are the cold months settling in for North Shore real estate?

By Craig Catley

As the autumn leaves start to fall, it appears many property values around New Zealand are doing the same. QV's latest House Price Index has updated values for March across the country, showing the remarkable state of growth in our property market.

So how has North Shore property performed – and how does it compare to the rest of the country?

Strong and steady on the North Shore

The QV research shows that over the last 12 months, median property values on the North Shore have gone up by 11.5 per cent, and now sit at just over $1.2 million. This is in keeping with the overall Auckland region median growth of 12.3 per cent, while the North Shore's average value is about $200,000 higher than the Auckland-wide average. While local values went down slightly in the last three months (by 1.4 per cent), the long term prospects for those looking to sell are excellent.

The North Shore's average value is about $200,000 higher than the Auckland-wide average.

James Steele, homevalue manager at QV argued that the slight drop in values north of the bridge was due to a slowdown in investment activity:

"Areas with lower value investor housing stock such as Manurewa, Papakura in the south, Hillcrest and Sunnynook on the North Shore, Ranui and Glen Eden in the West areas previously dominated by investor demand – have seen values drop back."

This could be due to the Reserve Bank's home loan speed limit restrictions, which were designed to slow down the level of lending given to investors right across Auckland. However, with QV reporting that investors still make up 44 per cent of sales, they're still a force to be reckoned with – and a demographic that North Shore vendors should be looking at. 

How does this compare to the rest of the country?

The growth of 11.5 per cent over 12 months is extremely good, and well above what you would expect in a 'normal' year. However, this is not a normal property market – demand is much higher than supply, and it's meant buyers are searching far and wide for their dream home – something that is reflected in QV's data. Have a look at the top performers over the year to March 2017:

  • Queenstown Lakes district (28.5 per cent growth in a year)
  • Rotorua (28.2 per cent)
  • Wellington region (21.2 per cent)
  • Hastings (20.4 per cent)
  • Whangarei (19.3 per cent)
  • Tauranga (18.3 per cent)

As many buyers feel they cannot afford real estate in Auckland, they seek out cheaper options. The median value in most of these areas is below $500,000 – except for Queenstown, which actually has prices to rival Auckland's.

Queenstown is the rare NZ region with a property market to rival our own.

But does this mean buyers are leaving the North Shore market? Not a chance. Places like Takapuna have a combination of great homes, fantastic top decile schools and proximity to parks and water that you can't find in a lot of these towns that have grown faster in the last year.

This is an important thing for any vendor to remember – just because the North Shore property market's growth is slower than many other areas in the last 12 months, it doesn't make it an objectively slow market. Property here is essentially evergreen – it's so good that people will always want to buy it.

If you want to learn more about the local market or are thinking about when to sell your North Shore home, talk to the team at Ray White Takapuna. We've got our ear to the ground and will employ a wide range of modern marketing techniques to make sure that no matter what the market is like, your home will get the attention it deserves.

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