CoreLogic’s updated Mapping the Market report shows that Wairoa has seen the largest % rise in median property values over the past year, however Dunedin dominates the list of suburbs with the largest increases in $ terms – e.g. almost $137,000 in Waitati. Meanwhile, the most expensive suburb in NZ, which is Herne Bay (Auckland) at $2.6m, has actually seen its median value drop slightly since February 2019.

Using an interactive GIS-based tool for the Mapping the Market report, it shows that median property values at suburb level across NZ, as well the % and $ change over the past year (currently year to February 2020). The tool is available at www.corelogic.co.nz/mapping-market.

Top 10 NZ suburbs - % change in median property values over past year (Source: CoreLogic)
Top 10 NZ suburbs - % change in median property values over past year (Source: CoreLogic)

What are the key points to note? First, many suburbs have recorded stellar growth over the past 12 months. As the first chart shows, several parts of the country have recorded growth of at least 30% in the past year, including solid representation for suburbs in Gisborne and Invercargill. Wairoa takes top place, however, with an increase in median property values of 33% in the year to February 2020.

Top 10 NZ suburbs - $ change in median property values over past year (Source: CoreLogic)
Top 10 NZ suburbs - $ change in median property values over past year (Source: CoreLogic)

Translating these figures into growth in dollar terms is also really interesting – and will no doubt put some property owners into a very good mood. As the second chart shows, Waitati in Dunedin has seen an increase in median values of almost $137,000 over the past year. Four other suburbs in Dunedin are in the +$100k club for the past year, with suburbs in Wellington, Auckland, and Hastings also appearing.

Of course, for most owner-occupiers, these gains will simply be required to fund their next purchase. For landlords, however, there is more choice about whether to take a cash windfall or keep the gain invested – and in the current environment of coronavirus uncertainty and low term deposit rates, it’s hard to see many selling their properties.

Bottom 10 NZ suburbs - % change in median property values over past year (Source: CoreLogic)
Bottom 10 NZ suburbs - % change in median property values over past year (Source: CoreLogic)

Not all suburbs have boomed over the past year, though. Indeed, the bottom 10 suburbs have all seen median values actually decline since February last year, with the bulk of these being in Auckland (see the third chart). Shamrock Park, which is a small suburb (<250 dwellings) to the east of Auckland, has seen the worst performance for median values over the past year, dropping by about 7%.

Change in median values in most expensive suburb in each main centre (Source: CoreLogic)
Change in median values in most expensive suburb in each main centre (Source: CoreLogic)

Another take-out from Mapping the Market is how each of the most expensive suburbs in the main centres fared over the past year. Herne Bay in Auckland remains the country’s most expensive suburb, with a median property value of $2.6m. However, that is slightly lower than it was this time a year ago (see the fourth chart). Wellington and Christchurch are the other main centres with +$1m suburbs, whereas the most expensive suburbs in Hamilton and Dunedin are less than $900,000. Maori Hill in Dunedin, however, is surging higher, with an increase of 15% in the past year – the same % gain over the next 12 months (were it to happen) would see it top the $960,000 mark this time next year.

Overall, the latest data is a reminder that suburbs don’t always move in line with each other and at any point in the property cycle there are ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. Mapping the Market is a very good reference tool for keeping an eye on these various patterns.