Hibiscus Coast/Orewa Market Commentary.
In Hibiscus Coast, the residential market remained relatively flat with subdued quantity of sales throughout 2010. However throughout 2011 the market has picked up with both higher sales volume and increases to the median sales price recorded. 2012 built further on these positive gains and this has continued well into 2013 as the nearby Auckland market remains hot due to a lack of listings.
In November 2013, 101 sales were recorded for the Hibiscus Coast area, a decrease on October (104 sales), and also down when compared to November 2012 (137 sales) according to REINZ figures as the market in this area continues to attract buyers from nearby North Shore. March 2013 recorded the previous high of 154 sales. It's now taking an average of 38 days to sell, up on November 2012 (33 days), however a declining trend is still the driver indicating increasing activity and faster turnaround of properties in this area. The average days to sell, apart from one adverse result in February 2011 of 81 days, usually fluctuate between 36 and 60 days, however the past eight months has seen results at or below the long term trend underlying the growing pressure on the quantity of available properties for sale.
The REINZ median house price is currently sitting at $605,000, a 3.2% decrease on October's result of $625,000 (which was a new high for this region) and still above the rising trend since the beginning of 2012. The past 12 months have recorded median house price levels in excess of $500,000. These are all positive indications that home-buyers and investors are returning to the Hibiscus Coast market as an alternative to the market-shortage situation being experienced in the neighbouring North Shore suburbs.
Current rents for Orewa/Whangaparaoa for a two bedroom house range from $340 to $410 per week, and for a three bedroom house $410 to $495 per week.
Agents continue to report a shortage of listings for good family homes in the lower to mid-price range; this is leading to greater competition amongst first home-buyers and investors, and thus causing the market value for these properties to increase. There appears to be a further shift of interest to slightly higher value properties, as more buyers shift interest from the North Shore to the Hibiscus Coast. New subdivisions such as in nearby Millwater/Silverdale and Hatfield's Beach are experiencing increased interest in recent times with property sales in the $650,000 to $1,000,000 value range and an increase in new build activity. Vacant land sales are also on the rise throughout the region, however the recent introduction of the Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) Controls by the Reserve Bank on 1st October has taken a large proportion of the first home buyers out of the market, together with some investors hoping to see some downward correction of values. This pause in the market from the LVR changes has not yet translated into any significant downward trends, and the fundamental shortage of properties still appears to be the driver behind the increased property values. REINZ are reporting it may take several months before any trend influenced by the LVR introduction becomes apparent.
Overall, demand for good quality family homes especially along the central and western end of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and on the flat of Orewa is still fairly strong, with drivers appearing to be from families looking to establish themselves on the outskirts of the Auckland Metropolitan area, Retirees looking for a beachside/quieter lifestyle the Hibiscus Coast offers, and new buyers unable to find suitable available properties in the North Shore, so look to the Hibiscus Coast as an alternative coastal destination.
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