Auckland market already benefiting from lower mortgage interest rates
Low mortgage interest rates, house traders on the prowl and swelling numbers of first-home buyers could be about to fire up Auckland’s housing market.
QV valuations spokeswoman Glenda Whitehead said Auckland might be showing signs of a resurgence as buyers hunted around the western areas, Mangere Bridge and South Auckland generally.
‘‘I don’t want to play it up too much because we see mini-trends as well. But we’ve noted a few investors being a little more active around those areas, simmering away. Afew people are buying at mortgagee sale and doing a quick flick.
‘‘These buyers are traders and when we follow up on the deals, that’s their business and they’ve learnt to do it cheap, buying around $250,000 in the Mangere area and then doing a quick flick. They take advantage of situations,’’ she said.
‘‘The indication is that buyers, perhaps because of low interest rates, are stepping into the market more seriously in some areas. First-home buyers have been spotted in the more affordable suburbs of the region.’’
Onehunga and Pakuranga were also drawing first-home buyers.
ASB is offering mortgage finance at 6 per cent fixed for 18 months. Kiwibank is lending at 5.65 per cent on a floating rate but borrowers seeking longer-term stability are paying 7.6 per cent for a five-year mortgage.
Ms Whitehead said Auckland houses had generally maintained value.
‘‘Overall, the underlying statistics indicate a relatively stable market in the Auckland region. An increase in March sales volumes compared to previous months suggests a pick-up in activity.
‘‘There are areas in Auckland that are performing better than others. The suburbs are typically in close proximity to the CBD, and many offer character homes, or favoured school zones,’’ she said.
‘‘The general feeling is the market still lacks any urgency due to a prediction of limited short-term value growth. Many [buyers] only act if a property meets the majority of their criteria.
‘‘If a property has a number of features considered negative by buyers, these are being factored into offers and affects the length of time for the sale to be completed,’’ Ms Whitehead said.
Realestate.co.nz listed 12,288 Auckland properties for sale up to $2.5 million. Barfoot & Thompson announced a big pick-up in sales activities during March when 1070 places sold for an average $581,190, compared with February’s 619 sales for an average $521,887.
Nationally, QV said values stayed relatively stable.