Regions’ prices pass Auckland’s

Houses in Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes are now more expensive on average than ones in...
Houses in Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes are now more expensive on average than ones in Auckland. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes have overtaken Auckland as the most expensive region to buy property, new industry data shows.

According to data for July, the average house in the region was priced at a record high of $1,210,233, up 19.5% on July 2020.

Auckland’s average price for the month was $1,177,528, up 19.3% on the same period.

Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes’ combined total stock had nearly halved over the past 12 months to a record low 356, down 47.2% on the year prior.

Like much of the country, Central Otago was definitely seeing an increase in property values and prices, Harcourts Cromwell sales manager Peter Bennetts said.

That was being driven by the lack of housing stock in the area, he said.

"We have seen a significant reduction in the stock from two years ago.

"I think it is a combination of buyers thinking if we sell what have we got to go to and also the number of titled available sections is low so replacement of stock is a big factor."

There had been good interest from buyers across the country looking to move to the area.

The Wooing Tree development in Cromwell had had a large number of inquiries from within the region and also nationally.

There had also been a slight increase in offshore interest, particularly from Australia, Mr Bennetts said.

"A little bit — not huge gains but we are certainly seeing an increase in inquiries from offshore," he said.

Queenstown One Agency agent Deni Bevin believed the town’s house prices were being driven by a "ridiculously" low housing stock.

That was caused by a lot of uncertainty about the Government’s housing legalisation earlier this year, he said.

There was no doubt the local market was starting to see some "extraordinary" house prices for well presented property, Mr Bevin said.

Recently there had been interest from New Zealanders overseas looking to secure a property in the area, Mr Bevin said.

"We are seeing a lot of people with connections to Otago wanting to secure something before they come home.

"The likes of someone living in an apartment with three kids in Singapore."

It had been expected that house prices could have fallen when Covid-19 started to affect the local tourism industry, but New Zealand’s positive response to the pandemic had attracted overseas interest.

Mr Bevin believed that compared with other resort towns around the world, Queenstown was still seen as a cheap option.

Nationally, the data showed housing stock was at its lowest in 14 years.

Coromandel, Northland, and Nelson and Bays had seen their available housing stock more than halve in a year, dipping 60%, 53.6%, and 53.5% respectively.

Wairarapa was the only region to see an available housing stock increase — up 13% on last year.

The Central North Island had the highest asking price jump with a rise of 48% to $771,169 compared with this time last year. — Additional reporting RNZ


These daily stories of ballooning house prices, are nothing but depressing..


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