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A stable market as spring approaches

Winter is on the way out and spring is almost back in for another year. As we head into warmer climes, the Auckland property market remains stable, unchanging and constant, to coin a few different words. What this means is that there are certainly no dramatic stories to tell, but the positive is that the Auckland market continues its steady trajectory, with only minor changes in median price over the last few months.

Within the old territorial authorities of Auckland, there are more recognisable trends. During July, Auckland and North Shore cities saw media price decreases of -1.6% and -1.3% respectively. Waitakere City saw a more substantial media increase of 4.6% showcasing the continuing popularity of this more affordable part of Auckland.

This all bodes well for first time buyers who we expect to be out in even great force in the September market, as both price and interest rate stability make Auckland affordability just that little bit easier for those looking to get a rung up on that long ladder. In the last few weeks we have also seen a growing number of lower priced housing in eastern and southern Auckland that have come onto the market, which suits the first home buyer appetite.

In terms of sales volumes, signs of the September market have appeared early with the number of properties sold across the region in July increasing by 2.1% compared to July 2017.

With sales and buyer activity tipped to increase before the end of the year, the next few months will certainly be interesting to gauge the heat of the Auckland property market to set us up for the new year.

Source: REINZ, August 2018

Has the Auckland Unitary Plan delivered?

It’s been almost two years since the contentious Auckland Unitary Plan became operative (in part) on 15 November 2016, and many areas witnessed a change to their development rules.

Auckland Council is certainly standing behind their plan, giving it credit for large increases in housing consent numbers across the region. The idea behind the plan counteracted some views that relaxing development restrictions should be something that only happens on the fringes of the region. However, people much prefer living closer to their jobs, schools, public transport and amenities and the truth is that these are not as developed in some of the outer regions.

Following consumer demand, developers have shown a strong preference for development in brownfield areas. The proof lies in building consent numbers, which sat at 1001 new consents in June, and once completed, will help to bridge the shortfall of homes needed to sustain the continued popularity of Auckland as a place to live, work and raise a family.

Has the plan changed how and where people live inside Auckland’s borders? A report prepared for the Auckland Council shows that there is a definite trend towards a more compact city, with around two-thirds of new dwellings being multi-units and many of these are being built in areas where transport links are nearby i.e. within 1500 metres of a train station or bus stop.

A shift in preference towards terraced houses and apartments is changing the way that metropolitan Aucklanders live, as a desire to be close to transport links replaces in many cases the quarter acre section dream.

In answer to the question, has the plan delivered? According to Auckland Council it has indeed. The ‘desired compact city is emerging’, which was one of the pillars the Unitary Plan was built on to create a city focused on growth in the next decade.

Source: Auckland Council, interest.co.nz