Low listings keep Otago house prices high

Photo: ODT files
Queenstown house prices rose year-on-year but eased back in August to a median $932,000 from $1.05 million in July. Photo: ODT files
Otago and Queenstown continue to see above average annual gains in median house prices, as 14 of 16 regions across the country all showed median house price gains for August.

While Auckland saw its first year-on-year increase in six months, up 1.4% to $852,000 in August, many regional areas saw continued strong prices as the lack of listings drove prices up, according to data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand released yesterday.

While Queenstown Lakes district values gained 9.6% on a year ago, hitting a median price of $932,000 for August, they had pulled back from July's high of $1.05million.

Queenstown-based REINZ regional director Gail Hudson said

while sellers were still expecting price rises for their properties, market prices had stabilised.

"We're seeing fewer cash buyers as lending has steadily become more challenging in every sector," she said.

In Dunedin, REINZ regional commentator Liz Nidd said although listing numbers around Otago remained low, the high levels of buyer demand meant there was competition for the few properties on the market.

Listing numbers rose towards the end of August. she said.

ASB economist Kim Mundy said while provincial New Zealand house prices were continuing to grow strongly, prices being paid in Auckland were still soft.

"New Zealand's housing market is continuing to run at different speeds," she said.

House price growth remained more robust in provincial New Zealand, in line with recent trends. House price appreciation remained above 10% year-on-year in Gisborne-Hawkes Bay, Manawatu-Whanganui, Otago and Northland, she said.

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said the above average temperatures for New Zealand in the final month of winter had a positive impact on the real estate industry and prices increased in 14 out of 16 regions across the country.

"The middle of the North Island and top of the South Island continue to see strong prices achieved as low listing numbers continue to drive prices upwards in these popular areas," Ms Norwell said.

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