Homeowners in some of New Zealand’s wealthiest suburbs are feeling the pain from the property market downturn, with estimated median values falling by $300,000 or more in some areas.
CoreLogic NZ’s interactive Mapping the Market tool, updated quarterly, compares values across 923 suburbs from a year ago.
In the latest update, 10 suburbs recorded a fall in value of $300,000 or more, and most could be classed as ‘top-end’ suburbs.
They included Saint Marys Bay, Westmere and Orakei in Auckland, and Seatoun and Karaka Bays in Wellington.
CoreLogic NZ Chief Property Economist Kelvin Davidson said this was probably only an issue if a homeowner was trying to sell now, after purchasing at the peak of the market.
“It’s also worth noting that houses in those suburbs are generally more expensive to start with, so the percentage fall is always going to translate into a bigger drop in dollar value,” Mr Davidson said.
“In addition, it’s not just the upper end of the market that has seen a downturn. More than a third of suburbs across New Zealand saw double-digit declines over the last year, and Wellington made up the bulk of the suburbs that posted the biggest falls.”
Values fell by 20% or more in 31 suburbs, with 30 of them in the wider Wellington region.
Mr Davidson said Fordlands in Rotorua was the only suburb outside of that area.
“Overall, this confirms that this downturn has been pretty deep and broad-based across many parts of the country – to the detriment of existing property owners, but a sign of hope for aspiring buyers who have their finances approved,” he said.
Bright spots in property downturn
Homeowners in some smaller, South Island centres had a bit more reason to celebrate, with four suburbs posting double-digit increases.
The biggest risers were Tuatapere in Southland (11.2%), Reefton on the West Coast (10.6%), Waimate in South Canterbury (10.6%) and Riverton in Southland (10.3%).
Meanwhile, values in another 30 suburbs grew by 5% or more.
Mr Davidson said those suburbs generally had affordability on their side.
“Incomes tend to be lower in regional areas than the main centres. But so too are house prices, and lower entry points in these markets may be supporting greater resilience in values.”
What’s happening in the main centres?
Property values dropped in all 197 suburbs analysed over the past 12 months.
Waiuku posted the smallest decline of 0.3% or $2,800, while falls of 16% or more were seen in Waiatarua, Otara, Wattle Downs and Clover Park.
185 suburbs recorded a drop of 5% or more.
Templeview posted the biggest value drop of 10.1%, while in Hamilton Central values were relatively flat, down 0.1% or $950.
28 of the 35 suburbs analysed saw values decline 5% or more.
Values dropped in all of Tauranga’s (analysed) suburbs in the last year.
The biggest falls of around 10% were recorded in Parkvale, Gate Pa, Otumoetai, Papamoa Beach and Tauranga South.
More expensive suburbs like Mount Maunganui and Matua had the largest drops in dollar value of $100,000 or more.
Every suburb analysed in Wellington has been hit by the property market downturn in the past year.
Values were down nearly 28% in Plimmerton, and 25% in Southgate.
Seatoun remains the most expensive suburb ($1.75m) despite recording the largest drop in prices of $389,800.
The Garden City held up better than other main centres, with nine suburbs either flat or still rising in value over the past year.
Aranui in Christchurch’s eastern suburbs rose 8.4%, while at the other end of the spectrum values fell 9% in Ilam, Spreydon and Sockburn.
Values fell across Dunedin in the past year, with some suburbs hit harder than others.
Those falls ranged from 3% in Karitane to 16% in Saint Leonards, Maryhill, Ravensbourne, and Forbury.
Meanwhile, 37 out of 62 suburbs analysed saw values drop 10% or more.
Property market forecast
Mr Davidson said the property market still has significant challenges, including high mortgage rates for new borrowers and expensive repricing for existing borrowers.
“But many areas have already fallen significantly, and therefore could be poised to bottom out first as underlying drivers settle down,” said Mr Davidson.
“Overall, even if sales activity and property values bottom out this year as is expected, the property market may well remain subdued into 2024. But those ‘early fallers’, or suburbs where values dropped first, could then rise sooner too,” Mr Davidson concluded.
Explore the full CoreLogic NZ interactive market map here