Demand soars for property in Wellington

Demand for Wellington properties saw the largest annual percentage increase on record in August

18 September 2020

63 Brougham Street, Mount Victoria, Wellington

Demand for Wellington properties saw the largest annual percentage increase on record in August, after climbing 34% year-on-year, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.

Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said that nationally, Wellington saw the biggest jump in demand last month as a flurry of buyers hit the market in August. “Spring is typically a busy period for the property market when the sun is shining, everything is starting to look greener and most properties are looking their best. However, this year we saw the spring rush begin much earlier than usual, signalling a very busy time ahead for the property market.

“Views are skyrocketing right around the region, we saw huge jumps in interest from prospective buyers across all districts. The Kapiti Coast saw a 68% jump in demand, followed by South Wairarapa up 44% and Wellington City which saw a significant 40% increase in demand when compared to August last year.

Mr Clancy said properties for sale in Wellington are receiving a lot of interest within hours of being listed. “The most popular listing in the country last month was a four-bedroom house in Southgate, Island Bay that was watchlisted 553 times in its first two days onsite.

Kapiti a new favourite

Mr Clancy said Kapiti Coast had a standout month in August as Kiwis look outside the main centres for more cost effective properties. “The average asking price in Kapiti reached $685,000 in August - a 16% increase on the same month last year - making it the third most expensive district behind Wellington City ($799,100) and Porirua ($723,950).

“We have not seen Kapiti feature in the top three most in-demand and expensive districts in the Wellington region previously. With prices creeping up right around Wellington, Kiwis are looking at other options and weighing up a longer commute in exchange for cheaper house prices.”

“We also reckon that some Kiwis have become accustomed to working from home after the lockdown, this obviously reduces the issues many have with commuting and makes districts further from the CBD even more appealing.”

National house prices grow by 9%

Wellington was not the only region that saw prices climb in August, with the national average asking price growing by 9% year-on-year in August to $701,750.

“This marks the second consecutive month where the national average asking price has shown such massive growth, with July also seeing a 9% year-on-year increase. Prior to this, the last time we saw such a large increase was in 2017.”

Mr Clancy said demand appeared to be behind the increase. “Nationally, demand for properties for sale was up by 19% in August when compared with last year, with all regions seeing year-on-year increases.

“Looking at the regions, the ones that saw the largest increases in demand were Wellington (34%), Nelson/Tasman (28%) and Manawatu/Whanganui (25%).”

Nationally, market supply, however, dropped by 3% year-on-year with most regions seeing supply slow when compared with August last year.

“To put it simply, it’s a great time to be selling your house - demand is extremely high right across the country and supply isn’t keeping up which means potential buyers must put their best foot forward.”

Auckland house prices edge closer to $1m

The average asking price in the Auckland region reached $948,800 in August. “This is up 8.6% when compared with the same month in 2019, when it was $873,500.”

“The average asking price in Auckland city was $1,137,950, up 18% year-on-year from $967,550 last August.”

Mr Clancy said this made Auckland city the second most expensive district in the region, with North Shore City taking out the top spot with an average asking price of $1,141,300. “In third place, Rodney saw an average asking price of $1,003,750.”

Price growth across NZ's regions

The Manawatu/Whanganui had a record-breaking month in August, with the region’s average asking price climbing 16 per cent year-on-year to $454,300. “ Demand in the region was also up 25% when compared with August 2019.”

A new record was also set in the Bay of Plenty, with the region’s average asking price seeing a 9% year-on-year increase to $700,550.

After Wellington, demand in the Nelson/Tasman region saw the second-highest year-on-year increase in August. “Tasman appeared to be driving this, with demand in the district up by 42% when compared with August last year.

“This is another indicator that in the post lockdown world, people are considering buying in locations they may have previously seen as too isolated." 

Property Price Index, August 2020
LocationProperty Price Index
Bay of Plenty Bay of Plenty $700,150$700,150
Hawke's BayHawke's Bay$597,500$597,500
West CoastWest Coast$300,950$300,950

Small homes see large price growth

The average asking price increased for houses of all sizes in August. “Large houses (5+ bedrooms) and medium houses (3-4 bedrooms) both saw a 9% jump in average asking price, to $1,210,350 and $705,250 respectively.”

“Small houses (1-2 bedrooms) saw a 15 per cent increase on August 2019, with an average asking price of $512,000.”

Apartments, townhouses and units all saw year-on-year increases in August. “Townhouses outside of Auckland had a record-breaking month, with the average asking price reaching $534,650.”


About the Trade Me Property Price Index:

    • The Trade Me Property Price Index measures trends in the expectations of selling prices for residential property listings added to Trade Me Property by real estate agents and private sellers over the past three months.
    • It provides buyers, sellers and realtors with insights into ‘for sale’ price trends by property type and property size.
    • The Index is produced from data on properties listed on Trade Me Property in the three months leading up to the last day of each period. Each period’s value is a truncated mean of the complete three months’ worth of listings. This is to better reflect trends in property prices rather than month-to-month fluctuations in housing stock.
    • The Index uses an “80% truncated mean” of the expected sale price to calculate the average asking price. This excludes the upper and lower 10% of listings by price, and averages the expected sale prices of the remaining properties.
    • It provides an insight into ‘for sale’ price trends by type and size of property. Other reports aggregate property price data across these various properties.