Friday, 07 August 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Record asking prices as Coromandel property market defies predictions

The anticipated COVID-19 hit on the property market has yet to strike in the Coromandel where the average house asking price has hit an all-time high, rising above $800,000 for the first time.

The monthly report for June from real estate website, realestate.co.nz, revealed the average cost of a home in the Coromandel is now $847,950, an increase of 14.3 percent on the same time last year and a significant jump on the region’s last recorded high of $786,037 in April 2019. It keeps the region at number three on the list of most expensive homes in the country, behind Central Otago/ Lakes, which takes the top spot at $1,061,122, and Auckland where the average cost is now $958,274.

The Coromandel was one of just a handful of regions nationwide that bucked the general trend of static house prices for the month of June, with a lift of 8.2 percent. Central Otago/Lakes (9.2 percent) and Southland (9 percent) were the other significant outliers at the positive end of the almost negligible 0.5 per cent upward shift, while West Coast (-17.3 percent) and Taranaki (-6.4 percent) were at the other end of the scale.

The data revealed that the market has also been far more active than expected with 88 new Coromandel listings advertised during June, 27.5 per cent more than during the same month in 2019. This may represent a catch-up of sorts with virtually nothing hitting the market during the lockdown.

Vanessa Taylor, spokesperson for realestate.co.nz, says the figures are very encouraging and suggest the market remains buoyant despite the wider impacts of COVID-19. “Often in times of uncertainty, those who can hold off on selling will, as they wait to see what the future holds,” she says. “But with new listings up and prices stable, it looks like Kiwis are still selling and, in most regions, that they have not significantly lowered their price expectations.”

At the end of June, the website had 403 unique listings for the Coromandel, including approximately 100 in Whitianga ranging in price from $220,000 for a holiday apartment on Buffalo Beach Road to a five-bedroom, two-bathroom beachfront home with views on the same road with a price tag of $1,895,000.

The increase in listings locally is ahead of the national monthly increase of 19.7 percent which Vanessa says indicates the market is not slowing down, as had been forecast by some economists.

“Vendors have been busy preparing their properties and have wasted no time in getting their homes on the market,” she says. “It is promising to see that despite the challenges many Kiwis are facing in 2020, we didn’t see price expectations drop in too many of our regions during June. All-time asking price highs and year on year increases in 17 of our 19 regions will be encouraging for those thinking of selling.”

Bindi Norwell, chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, says the immediate signals in relation to the residential property market, particularly in the regions, were exceeding expectations. “What continues to surprise us, is the fact that there are still regions with increases in the median price and that there are still regions experiencing record median prices - a far cry from some of the doom and gloom predictions that were immediately touted when COVID-19 first hit the country,” she said.

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