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Central Otago Lakes region New Zealand's most expensive real estate - REINZ

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (Inc)

Friday 15th July 2005

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The Institute has separated Central Otago and the Queenstown/Wanaka lakes district out into a new stand-alone region in its monthly residential survey, where previously they were respectively included in the Otago and Southland figures, according to the National President of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (Inc), Howard Morley.

"The creation of the new 12th region is significant not only because the new Central Otago Lakes median of $395,000 is New Zealand's highest median price, but also because it gives a valuable insight into one of New Zealand's fastest growing real estate areas," Morley said.

Meanwhile the rest of the New Zealand residential property market continues to rise in price according to the latest report.

The national median price for the country's residential real estate market reached a new high of $284,500 for June, compared with the May national median of $275,000.

This is a 17.1% increase over the June 2004 national median price of $243,000 and was achieved on total sales of 8,025 which, while lower than the May sales of 9,280, is consistent with the June 2004 sales figure of 8,367.

"The fact that days to sell remain historically low at 30 days, coupled with the fact that seven out of the twelve regions recorded rises in their medians over May 2005 figures, suggests this is a pretty good performance by the market for this mid-winter period," Morley said. In comparison to last June's median, Nelson/Marlborough was similar to last year but all other districts were ahead.

However Morley said that some notice had to be taken of the fact that most of the sales decline had taken place in the under $400,000 price bracket, where sales fell from 7,086 in May to 6,052 in June.

Sales in the $400,001 to $600,000 bracket declined at a slightly lower rate from 1,490 to 1,327 as did sales over $600,000 falling from 704 to 647.

Around the regions, Northland recorded a drop in its median from $251,500 in May to $244,750 in June, as did Auckland easing from $370,000 to $366,500.

Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne enjoyed a buoyant month with the median up from $245,000 in May to $250,000 and days to sell down to 29.

Hawkes Bay was down from $249,500 in May to $236,500 in the latest month while Manawatu/Wanganui was up from $160,000 in May to $166,250.

Taranaki, currently the fastest growing area by median, eased slightly from $213,750 in May to $210,000, but Wellington recovered the ground lost in the previous two months with its median up from $285,000 to $300,000.

Nelson/Marlborough eased slightly from $265,000 in May to $264,500 while Canterbury/Westland performed strongly with a rise in its median from $247,500 in May to $255,000 in June.

Otago was up, from $190,000 to $197,250, as was Southland rising from $126,750 in May to $128,000 in June.

The new region, Central Otago Lakes, was up from $380,000 in May to $395,000, compared with the June 2004 median of $380,000, indicating that the region had been one of the earlier areas to participate in the recent price boom.

In annual percentage growth terms Taranaki continues to lead with a 40% increase on June 2004 followed by Manawatu/Wanganui up 33%, Northland up 32.3 per cent, Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne up 28.2%, and Canterbury/Westland in fifth place with a 17.8% annual growth rate.

The larger regions, Auckland up 13.14% and Wellington up 14.3%, reflected the fact that those areas tended to participate in the rising price cycle earlier than the smaller regions, Morley said.

Central Otago Lakes region confirmed this trend with its year-to-year percentage gain of just 3.94%, "they were obviously experiencing price increases at the very earliest stages of the recent price growth," Morley said.

Among the major centres Metropolitan Auckland saw an easing in its median from $371,750 to $370,000, Hamilton City was up from $250,000 to $267,250 and Mt Maunganui/Papamoa continued its dramatic recent growth with a median up from $388,000 in May to $400,000.

Tauranga similarly increased from $300,000 in May to $315,000, the latter three contributing to the Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne's strong showing in June.

The Central Wellington median was down from $372,500 to $360,000, possibly as a result of apartment sales, while Christchurch City was up from $261,000 to $270,000.

Dunedin City was up from $209,500 to $217,500, while Queenstown showed strong growth with its median up from $420,000 in May to $497,000, making it the single most expensive town in New Zealand.

However with just 61 sales during June in Queenstown, compared with 77 in May, the Queenstown median could be expected to fluctuate more than larger centres, Morley noted.

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