Following the activity and heightened interest in and around the national housing market, CoreLogic NZ has – for the first time – created a mid-year Best of the Best review. This halfway-point analysis takes a detailed look at suburb-level property data, and reveals the market upswing has not been Auckland or main centre-focused; rather, the data shows it has been broad-based right across the country.

Best of the Best June 2021

Herne Bay remains New Zealand’s most expensive suburb (median value of $3.16m), but in terms of value growth, cheaper areas have been far superior. Reflecting better relative affordability and easier access for a wider range of buyers, Manunui in Ruapehu District saw median values rise by 51.8% in the past year (to $295,000). A ‘provincial’ suburb has also taken the prize as fastest-selling with Hargest in Invercargill boasting a median time on market over the past year of just six days. Provisionally, the top sale so far in 2021 has been in Takapuna (16 Audrey Road) for $13.75m.

CoreLogic Chief Property Economist Kelvin Davidson says, “Of course, many suburbs within the main centres have also experienced very strong growth – median values in Otara (Auckland) are up by 31.4% over the past year, Enderley (Hamilton) also cracked 30%, and Wainuiomata (wider Wellington) hit 35.3% growth. The top growth suburbs in Tauranga, Christchurch, and Dunedin were all in the range of 20% to 25%.

“Would-be home buyers shouldn’t despair, however. Our data also shows a number of suburbs in Christchurch with median property values less than $400,000, consistent with other indicators of our second city’s relative affordability and potential appeal for those thinking of relocating.”

The cheapest suburb across the entire country is Runanga in the Grey District ($167,000), while some suburbs or small towns across the lower South Island have seen increases of less than 5% in the past 12 months – including Wallacetown (Southland), Frankton (Queenstown), Twizel, and Te Anau.

Meanwhile, when it comes to the speed of sale, single-digit days on market have been common for many parts of the country. For example, suburbs in Invercargill, Nelson, Hamilton, Upper Hutt, and Gore have all had median days on the market of fewer than 10 over the past year, while even in the main centres, property has generally been shifting in two to three weeks. The longest time on market across most of the main centres has only been four to five weeks.

A look outside the main centres

CoreLogic’s review of activity in ‘provincial’ New Zealand confirms the widespread nature of this latest property market upturn. (Note: This section excludes Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington (Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua), Christchurch, and Dunedin.)

In terms of the highest median values, the ‘Rest of South Island’ (RoSI) top 10 is dominated by Queenstown, with Kelvin Heights on top ($2.03m). The ‘Rest of North Island’ (RoNI) top 10 features suburbs in Thames Coromandel (e.g. Hahei at $1.34m), Western Bay of Plenty, and Napier. By contrast, the West Coast and Southland feature in terms of the RoSI’s areas with the lowest median values, while South Taranaki, Ruapehu, and Far North feature for RoNI.

Looking at the strongest growth around the provinces, a number of suburbs in Ruapehu and Gisborne have seen median values increase by 40% or more in the past 12 months, and although the overall gains have been slower across RoSI markets, Cobden (Grey) has headed the field (25.1%), followed by a number of suburbs across Invercargill and Marlborough. Suburbs that have lagged a little include Tinopai (Kaipara) at a 2.4% rise and Wallacetown (Southland) at 0.6%.

In terms of shortest time on market, the RoSI top 10 is dominated by parts of Nelson and Invercargill, e.g. Marybank and Hargest at six days apiece. Across RoNI, three of the top 10 are represented by suburbs in Palmerston North, including Ashhurst, Takaro, and Westbrook, all with median time to sell over the past year of just eight days. Looking at slower-moving suburbs, the Far North features for RoNI and parts of Buller and Southland for RoSI.

Finally, for top sales, the RoSI top 10 is again dominated by Queenstown, although Tasman also makes an entry. For the RoNI, it’s no surprise to see Hastings (Havelock North) feature, along with Kapiti Coast, Thames-Coromandel, Waikato, and Waipa.

In summary, Mr Davidson says, “It’s been a hectic first half of the year for the property market, but nothing lasts forever. We have always been expecting a slowdown in both sales volumes and property value growth in the second half of 2021 and into 2022, and that remains on track – especially now that fixed mortgage rates, or those on longer terms, are rising. In other words, it looks likely to us that the market is now very close to (or at) the peak of this upswing. That said, with population growth having generally outpaced property supply increases over a period of several years, we’re anticipating a slowdown, not an outright downturn.”

Mapping the Market refreshed for June 2021

CoreLogic’s Mapping the Market tool provides free insights into these suburb-level changes; by clicking on any particular New Zealand suburb, users can instantly see its current median property value, values a year ago, and the % and $ change over that period.

The data behind the visualisation highlights the outright strength of property value growth recently, for example:

  • Nearly 200 Auckland suburbs have seen median values rise by at least $100,000 in the year
  • Harrowfield has become Hamilton’s first +$1m suburb, with a median value of $1.03m
  • Only five suburbs in Tauranga now have a median value less than $700,000
  • Fifteen suburbs around wider Wellington have seen median values rise by 30% or more in the past year
  • More than 25 Christchurch suburbs have seen +$100,000 gains in the past 12 months
  • Maori Hill is now very close ($972,500) to being Dunedin’s first +$1m suburb.


In addition to the visual demonstration, the smart map also provides key market commentary from the CoreLogic research team, with data highlights and trends provided for each major city. However – users can easily focus in on any part of the country they want.