Auckland’s median price for a home now $820,000

Human hand add a  coin in the final row
Auckland  real estate prices are starting to rise again, with the media price for March standing at $820,000.

The University of Auckland is selling its Tamaki Campus to property investment company Tamaki Village.
There’s already chatter the 11.9ha plot in Glen Innes could be used for hundreds of much-needed homes close to  public transport and rail links.
It’s early days, and no announcements have been made, but it could be a much-needed game-changer to help meet demand for new homes.
The bad news is there’s talk of rising prices for new builds on the back of new tougher health and safety regulations in the construction industry.
Prices push up
According to the Real Estate Institute this week, median house prices across the city are sitting at a record high of $820,000.
The institute says record median house prices have also been recorded in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury and Central Otago Lakes.
In Auckland, one in three properties sold are valued at more than $1 million — that’s 35 per cent of the market. The institute says the national median house price is now $495,000, and for the 12 months ended March the total value of residential sales across New Zealand was $55 billion.
Mortgage rates
Citing   low inflation, economists at the ASB predict more cuts to the official cash rate this year, and expect the Reserve Bank to take it down to 1.75 per cent.
When the OCR goes down, so too should loan rates. However, it seems the banks are hedging their bets, waiting to see if the US Fed will  raise its interest rates (which has a bearing on local rates).
Despite all the US fluffery, I don’t believe the Fed will raise rates any time soon. Backed in to a corner at the end of last year it increased rates by the smallest amount it could, just to save face. And while there’s plenty of talk, the US has been kicking the rate hike can down the road  for years.
Frankly, it’s time our local banks started offering much more competitive fixed-rate deals. One of them  must be itching to offer a  two-year deal at less than 4 per cent. There’s certainly scope to do that — it’s just a case who will blink first and start a mini mortgage war.
Pause for thought
BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander says Auckland’s market has ended a pause and is now going up again “underpinned by a worsening shortage of property”.
He says: “Regional markets are well underpinned by investor demand and that is propelling more construction which, in some smaller lifestyle-like centres, will eventually lead to excess supply.
“Falling interest rates will encourage more investors to seek property assets while having little impact on already outbid young buyers. A new wave of out-bidders is coming.”
Queenstown is facing its own housing crisis with a new home and land package at the Bridesdale Farm subdivision being advertised for $755,000.
The subdivision is in a special housing area, and the 360sq m section offered has plans for a 124sq m home.