NZ Home Prices Plateau Nationwide

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There’s good news for house buyers in the new Trade Me Property Price Index with the prices asked for properties nationwide remaining lacklustre for the fifth month in a row in September.

The index, launched on Thursday, measures trends in asking prices for residential property listings on the online auction site over the previous three months.

The average asking price for properties rose just 0.1 per cent month-on-month.

Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said the September figure contrasted with strong rises earlier in the year.

“We saw the change in asking price up more than 5 per cent in March, and there were 3 per cent month-on-month lifts in both February and April. It’s a sign that the market is in a sustained period of quiet,” he said.

Across all property types the average asking price in September was $487,650, according to the site’s data, which was a year-on-year increase of 13 per cent. Asking prices peaked at $491,050 in March.

Looking back over the past five years asking prices have risen 26 per cent, but most of that occurred in the past two years.

“In recent months we’ve seen that pace of increase all but stutter to a halt,” Mr Jeffries said.

Although lending limits imposed by the Reserve Bank has kept a lot of first home buyers out of the market, most of the plateau in the past few months was underpinned by a slow down in asking prices for larger houses.

The average asking price nationwide for homes with five or more bedrooms was up only 9 per cent compared to a year ago while one to two bedroom houses increased more than 15 per cent over the same period.

Overall there were six regions that had double-digit increases in average asking prices during the past year with Taranaki leading the pack with a 23 per cent increase followed by Gisborne with 19 per cent.

The much-reported pressure of demand from buyers in Auckland and Canterbury led average asking prices in these areas to rise 10 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

The West Coast had the weakest yearly increase in asking prices of 9.5 per cent year-on-year.

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