10 Nov 2015

Auckland housing market - off the boil?

2:24 pm on 10 November 2015

The heat appears to be coming out of the Auckland housing market.

Auckland housing. View from Mount Eden summit

The median price for a house in Auckland fell 3 percent to $748,250 in October, when compared with September. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) show the median price in the region fell 3 percent to $748,250 in October, when compared with September.

But, on an annual basis, the median price rose by 16.8 percent - or $107,750.

The institute's chief executive, Colleen Milne, said demand was softening in Auckland as new lending restrictions took effect.

"However, the fundamental supply and demand drivers of the Auckland market remain in place, and the result for October is indicative of the market-adjustment phase as it adapts to these new requirements," she said.

The McLennan housing development in Papakura.

A housing development in Papakura. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

The number of houses sold throughout the country has fallen when compared with September, while the national median price has also dropped back.

Ms Milne said there was rising demand outside of Auckland as buyers took advantage of low interest rates.

"It is further evidence of the 'halo' effect of Auckland-based buyers searching for value in regional markets.

"During winter and into early spring, the property markets in a number of regions have been far more active than would normally be expected, thus a slowdown or pause is not surprising following this burst of activity," she added.

Since 1 November, under the new lending restrictions put in place by the Reserve Bank, property investors have needed a deposit of at least 30 percent to get a bank loan for a house in Auckland.

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