Lower Hutt has recently hit its highest median value on record. Sales activity has consistently outperformed other areas of the Wellington region with buyers continuing to see value. Looking forward we expect this momentum to continue for the rest of the year.
The median sell value in the Lower Hutt reached $500,000 over the final quarter in 2017, the highest level on record and up 5.8% from the prior quarter. Sales activity within the Lower Hutt decreased by 12% over the September 2017 quarter, but still outperformed the Central Wellington market where transactions decreased more than twice this amount. The decrease in sales activity was due to the general election and change in government causing uncertainty in the market. Transaction counts rebounded by 4% in 4Q 2017 and we expect this activity to lift further as buyers adjust to the new regulatory backdrop.
Lower Hutt has experienced continued price appreciation since 2015. The number of property sales occurring for over $400K has increased year-on-year and made up almost 70% of all transactions over 2017, a dramatic increase from the 43% share back in 2015.
Wellingtons market dynamics show the amount of property available to sell, holding at historically low levels. At current levels of activity and assuming no more listings are added to the inventory, the existing stock would sell down in just 7 weeks, significantly below the long term average of 18 weeks. Tight market conditions in Wellington are flowing into the Lower Hutt market which, historically, is a more affordable option for buyers still looking to be close to Central Wellington.
Woburn, Eastbourne and Lower Hutt Central witnessed the highest values of the selected Lower Hutt suburbs. Woburn claims title of the most expensive and tightly held suburb in the Lower Hutt with a median sell value of $775,000 and just 58 transactions over the 2017 year. Wainuiomata holds the lowest median sell value of $352,000 along with the highest number of sales transactions acting as a more affordable entry point for buyers.
Value increases were experienced in all suburbs from the prior year except Petone where values decreased by 1%. The most notable growth witnessed in the Lower Hutt was in Wainuiomata and NaeNae where the median sell price increased by 20% since 2016.
Transactions within the Lower Hutt continue to be dominated by free standing houses. Units and townhouses hold a relatively small share of the market making up 9% and 5% respectively.
Retirement development in 2015 and 2016 increased total consent numbers by about 45% but by 2017 fell away to zero. By comparison the number of townhouse consents have more than doubled from the previous year and could point to increased intensification going forward.
Lower Hutt Residential Sales Hotspots – (2017 HY 2)