New Plymouth house prices rise $35,000 in a month

House prices in New Plymouth have risen almost $35,000 in only a month.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) puts the increase down to a nationwide housing shortage, which they describe as a “chronic lack of supply”.

Taranaki’s median house price of $342,500 sits only slightly below the nationwide median of $382,000 which excludes the influence of the inflated Auckland property market.

Hawera saw a massive fall in median house prices compared to April 2015 houses sold for $260,000 on average, now buyers could pick up a house for around the $190,000 mark.

However, Taranaki spokesman for REINZ Garry Malcolm said despite the rapid increase in some areas the property market in Taranaki was balanced and still affordable.

“The median price data doesn’t give a a full picture of what’s happening here in Taranaki,” he said.

“We’ve seen a lot of houses in the upper house bracket sell off recently, which raises the overall median for the region.”

Malcolm said while many Aucklanders have been buying up in Tauranga and the Hawke’s Bay he hadn’t seen big numbers of them purchasing in Taranaki.

“I think it’s partly to do with that Mt Messenger road having isolated us a bit,” he said.

A new bypass has been proposed to bypass Mt Messenger with construction due to start in the next two years.

“While it won’t necessarily decrease the time it takes to get here from the North it will make it a much more comfortable drive.”

Having been in the property business more than 35 years Malcolm said he has seen Taranaki’s house prices trend consistently upwards.

“I’ve never seen anyone buy a house at the wrong time though,” he said.

“If you buy and sell your house in the same market, there should never be an issue.”

While New Plymouth house prices saw a big inflation, Bell Block saw the opposite with an almost $80,000 drop in price from March to April this year.

Harcourts Bell Block real estate agent Jay Green said the drop in median price for Bell Block was likely due a lack of high end properties being listed on the market.

“Bell Block has a real range of high and low end properties and we’re seeing the $600,000 plus homes just not being listed,” he said.

While regions such as Northland and Hawke’s Bay saw property availability fall by almost half, Taranaki remained relatively steady seeing only a 10 per cent drop.

With a total median house price increase of $45,000, or 15 per cent, since April last year, Taranaki placed as the fourth highest rise in the country, sitting behind the South Island’s West Coast, Bay of Plenty, Central Otago.

REINZ chief executive Colleen Milne said the increase in median price in Taranaki could be attributed to an increase in sales of houses selling for more than $1 million, driving the average up.

On the other hand the Reserve Bank announced on Wednesday they were considering imposing further home-loan restrictions due to an increasing gap in income versus house price in Auckland.

However Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler didn’t announce any specific changes to home-loan restrictions in their bi-yearly Financial Stability Report.