4 Jun 2015

Aucklanders - coming to a place near you

6:26 am on 4 June 2015

After months of property price increases in the country's largest city, new figures show that Aucklanders on the hunt for a house are now looking further afield.

Property listing website Realestate.co.nz says the average asking price for a house in Auckland last month was $800,000.

Chief executive Brendon Skipper said the website's data also showed that there had been a huge leap in the last year in the number of Aucklanders looking at properties in the regions.

"In particular, they're looking in the likes of Hawkes Bay, Waikato, Northland - so we thought it was interesting given ... that house prices in Auckland have been going up quite steadily over the last six months."

Hawke's Bay attracted the most interest, with a 150 percent increase in views, but Manawatu-Whanganui, Waikato, Northland and Bay of Plenty were not far behind.

The Dome, Napier.

Small cities like Napier could benefit from Aucklanders cashing up. Photo: SUPPLIED / The Dome

It was too early to tell if that interest had translated into action, Mr Skipper said.

"All we can see is the search behaviour. In regards to how that looks and feels down the track in terms of whether sales increase in those regional areas, that will only come through once the [Real Estate Institute] data comes out."

Manager of Harcourts in Hastings and Havelock North Craig Smith said he was getting more inquiries and referrals from Auckland.

"At the moment it's probably 50 percent more than it was six months ago."

The interest was coming from property investors and from people looking to buy in the mid-to-high end range, of up to $750,000, Mr Smith said.

"What they're saying to us is that they can sell their house up and take 500-grand out of it and then come and buy a house here.

"With the amount of flights that go in and out of Auckland now, they can work remotely from here using computers and setting up home office-type bases."

Further south, Masterton District Council is actively encouraging Aucklanders to move to the Wairarapa town.

The council's economic development manager Tina Nixon said a campaign encouraging Aucklanders to sell up had already attracted more than 350,000 page views.

"It just makes sense. That's what we're hearing - everyone's talking in Auckland about cashing up," Ms Nixon said.

"The real estate agents are starting to notice more people coming in and asking about property."

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