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NZ property prices hit all-time high

Property Here - Wednesday, May 01, 2013

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Asking prices for property in New Zealand reached an all-time high last month, according to new figures.

Data from showed the national mean price was $447,200 in April - up from the previous high of $446,200 in November last year.

The new high was caused largely by all-time-high asking prices in Auckland and Central Lakes/Otago combined with a low number of properties coming onto the market and houses selling faster, said marketing manager Paul McKenzie.

Auckland's mean asking price has reached $612,100 and in Central Lakes/Otago, the figure was $679,900 - up nearly $40,000 on the previous record.

The figures were part of a continuing growth pattern, said Mr McKenzie.

"Asking prices are trending upwards and look set to remain high through the winter months," he said.

Auckland's inventory - the number of properties on the market bought at the current rate - would have sold out within 14 weeks last month.

At the same time last year, the figure was 20 weeks and the year before, 28.

Nationally, the inventory is 26.8 weeks, with new lows set in Canterbury and the central North Island as well as Auckland.

"Fourteen weeks is pretty low. It's been worsening [for buyers] the last few years because we haven't had the same amount of stock coming on."

Listings were down in 10 of the 19 regions last month and demand remained high, which was also having an impact, Mr McKenzie said.

Property Investors Federation president Andrew King, said the situation was "a pressure cooker that was bound to happen".

Past property market cycles indicated prices would continue to increase for another three to four years before flattening off again, he said.

The effects of the buoyant Auckland city market were being felt in other suburbs.

Thirty-five minutes away at Muriwai Beach, Simon Spiller, agent and franchise owner of Bayleys' North West, said he was seeing more buyers who could not afford city properties.

"We're just starting to see some of the frustrated Auckland buyers filtering out our way - the numbers are getting bigger each week."

- Additional reporting by Heather McCracken