1493677966601 - Aucklanders may have missed chance to cash up and shift out

Aucklanders may have missed chance to cash up and shift out

Auckland woman Rachel Aylett is hoping to ditch the big city in favour of an easier life, with a smaller mortgage, elsewhere in the country.

But so far, it is not proving easy. She has not yet sold her place in Parakai, north of Auckland, and the competition for a house in the area surrounding Tauranga, where she wants to buy, is fierce.

“We were hoping that it would reduce our mortgage by quite a bit but trying to find something down there like what we already have has proven difficult and if we do see one, you’re only looking at a $50,000 to $100,000 [price] drop.”

She recently had twins, and the family of six is on one income, so she would like to cut her outgoings significantly. “We are happy where we are but a low mortgage would be nice as I don’t work.”

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She has been trying to sell since late last year.

“We put it on in October, got an offer but they mucked us around so we let that go, then it went dead quiet on the market so we took it off the weekend before Easter. Then two days ago my hubby got offered the transfer [to Tauranga] so we will put it back on at a lower price.”

New statistics from Realestate.co.nz show cashing up and moving out of Auckland, which has become popular over recent years, may be getting harder.

Demand for property is up strongly in the cheaper areas of the country, and down significantly in Auckland. Demand is measured by the average number of views on residential listings in each region.

In Auckland, demand was down 31.1 per cent in April. But Southland recorded a 24.5 per cent increase, Manawatu/Wanganui 14.5 per cent, Wairarapa 31.7 per cent and Central North Island 10.1 per cent.

Bay of Plenty and Waikato’s demand also dropped but not by as much as Auckland’s – 11.3 per cent and 19.3 per cent respectively.

Realestate.co.nz spokeswoman Vanessa Taylor said Auckland appeared to be in “wait and see mode”, with 31.7 per cent more properties available for purchase in April compared to the same time last year.

“A cooling in demand and an increase in the number of properties sitting on the market indicates that potential buyers are taking their time and exploring all of their options.”

But she said that was not true of the rest of the country.

Hawke’s Bay’s property market in particular was still tight. Stock is at an all-time low, and if sales continued at their current rate with no new listings, there would be no properties left in seven weeks.

Wellington’s available inventory was also down to seven weeks.

The Wairarapa and Manawatu-Wanganui regions are feeling the supply pinch, with the total number of properties available for purchase in April down 47.1 per cent and 40.3 per cent respectively. Other regions with significant declines in housing stock included Northland, Coromandel, Hawke’s Bay, Central North Island, Taranaki, Nelson, Marlborough, Southland and Otago.

Auckland is the only region with total stock up on a year ago and asking prices in the region are virtually unmoved since March this year (up 0.1 per cent).

Nationally, the average asking price in April was $643,460, up 2.1 per cent on March.