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House Prices Tumble Back to the Levels of Two Years Ago

The latest Trade Me Property Price Index shows house prices are $130,400 less than the March 2022 peak, with the national average asking price sitting at $841,050 in June.

By: Sally Lindsay

24 July 2023

The average asking price across the country hit a record high of $971,450 in March last year, but since then prices have continued to cool.

Last month, property prices were down nine per cent on the year prior. At a regional level, some prices have retreated more than the national average.

In the Auckland region, the average asking price last month reflected the prices of March 2021 at $1,054,750, while in Wellington prices have returned to levels first seen in February 2021 at $813,200. In Canterbury prices cooled to $685,750, a figure last seen in December 2021. 

“Prices are still going down, but the rate of this decline is easing,” says Trade Me sales director, Gavin Lloyd.

Biggest drop 

One of the country’s biggest property markets seems to be easing up, with Wellington’s average asking price retreating to the same level in February 2021.

The average price in Wellington is down from $936,300 in June 2022 to $813,200 now – a 13 per cent drop.

Wellington listings have slowly declined in average price every month since June last year, reducing by $123,100 over the 12-month period.

Wellington has been one of the most heated property markets over the past few years, but this appears to be slowing with a continuing trend of decline over the past six months, Lloyd says. “This is the market correcting itself after the big swings in the region over the past few years.”

Winter chills, fewer open homes 

Supply and demand cooled in June, a traditionally quiet winter period, with a slight decline in listings and interest.

Listings are down six per cent compared with June last year. This is typical market behaviour when a General Election is looming as sellers wait for certainty.

Wellington, in particular, is seeing far fewer listings, down 29 per cent compared with listings in June last year.

Nationwide demand was down four per cent on June last year, with some buyers keeping an eye on the market as prices continue to ease.

Bucking the trend 

Despite almost all house sizes dropping in average asking price, larger homes with more than five bedrooms in Christchurch bucked the trend.

Five-plus bedroom homes in Christchurch were up almost eight per cent year-on-year, with an average sale price of $1,219,800.

Apartments in Christchurch are also in demand, up nine per cent on last month.

Across the board, townhouses, apartments and units continue to be popular in urban centres with the exception of units in Wellington, down 20 per cent in asking price, at an average of $553,400.


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