House prices in some suburbs increased in recent months, but they are defying the downwards national trend, CoreLogic analysis shows.
The property research company’s suburb mapping figures are out, and they reveal that prices fell in 803 of the 955 suburbs analysed between June and September.
But 152 suburbs or towns around the country bucked the trend with price increases, and 27 of them had increases of 2% or more over the same period.
Roxburgh, a small town in central Otago, had the biggest price rise, with a 10.5% jump to $505,800 from $457,850 in the previous quarter.
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Campbells Bay on the North Shore in Auckland, up 6.5% to $2.48 million; Ruawai in Northland, up 5.3% to $449,250; and Cannons Creek in Porirua, north of Wellington, up 5.1% to $674,450 rounded out the top four.
Ngatea in Waikato and Manaia in Taranaki were up 3.9% to $728,050 and $350,950 respectively, while Turangi in Taupo, Riverton in Southland, Scarborough in Christchurch, and Oceanview in Timaru had increases of over 3.5%.
CoreLogic chief property economist Kelvin Davidson said the increases might seem surprising as the market downturn was firmly entrenched, but it was never a one-way street with price movements.
It was highly unlikely that 100% of suburbs would all have decreases, or increases, over the relatively short period of three months, he said.
“The areas where prices rose tend to be smaller, or rural areas, and in these areas you can get some volatility, and there can be some statistical ‘noise’.
“Roxburgh does genuinely seem to have been trading higher, but with Campbells Bay the latest rise just reversed a previously sharp fall.”
Some suburbs, or towns, which had price rises were farming and dairy areas, and that would provide support for the underlying economy, he said.
“But buyers everywhere are facing the same pressures around rising interest rates and affordability, so it may be that we have yet to see some pain in the small minority of areas where prices went up.”
The bigger story told by the analysis was that the market downturn had widened and deepened, with prices down in over 80% of suburbs nationwide, Davidson said.
It was a significant increase from the 486, or 51%, of suburbs that had price falls over the previous three-month period.
In the Auckland and Wellington regions prices dropped in about 97% of suburbs, while prices in Christchurch and Hamilton were down in 92% and 85% of suburbs respectively.
Eighty-one suburbs had falls of over 5%, and another 105 had falls of over 4%.
Those suburbs were in regions around the country, but 23 Wellington suburbs had drops of over 5%, while Auckland had 14 and Dunedin had 17.
Waikawa Beach, a small town in Manawatū-Whanganui, had the largest fall with prices down 9.3% to $703,500. In dollar terms, that was a decline of $72,550.
Manakau and Ohau in Manawatū-Whanganui, Tamaterau in Whangarei, Shiel Hill in Dunedin, and Ranui in Porirua all had drops of over 8%.
In dollar terms, there were falls of $100,000 or more in seven Auckland suburbs, but all were upper end areas where median prices were at least $2m. In Omaha, prices were down by $222,150.
Davidson said the signs of weakness had gathered pace this year as the lagged impact of rate rises, inflation and other economic influences caught up with the market.
“The winter momentum was most certainly downwards across the country, with the main centres hit hardest, and the direction the cycle has been moving in shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.”
While there are still short-term challenges ahead for the market, it was possible these figures could be the worst set of the cycle, and that over the next few quarters they might get less bad, he said.
“But there’s also now a sense of light at the end of the tunnel given the low unemployment figures and forecasts that mortgage rates could be close to a peak.
“People are adjusting to the new norm, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the market trough in the first half of 2023.”