Tight market conditions within Wellington Central are contributing to increasing demand in the accessible Upper Hutt region where median values remain well underpinned and sales activity continues to rise.
The Upper Hutt Residential market has remained strong over the 2017 year with sales volumes and values remaining robust. Transaction counts have shown a continued upward trend since the June 2017 quarter, outperforming a number of markets across the country where a drop in sales activity was witnessed as a result of the election and subsequent change in government.
The median sell price increased by 12% over the year to December 2017 with buyers continuing to see value in their purchases. In line with national trends however the median sell price experienced a slight plateau over the final quarter of 2017, decreasing by 0.3%. The roading and public transport network connecting Upper Hutt to Wellington City has improved the appeal of the area and this is reflected in the continued price appreciation and prominent sales activity. Upper Hutt acts as a more affordable option for home buyers compared with Central Wellington.
Wellington’s total inventory and weeks to sell inventory has fallen sharply since 2015 and remains at historically low levels. At current levels of market activity, and assuming no more listings are added to the inventory, the existing stock would sell down in just 7 weeks which is significantly below the long term average of 18 weeks.
Continued price appreciation reflects ongoing demand and the consequent lift in values witnessed within Upper Hutt. The proportion of transactions to occur in the $400K – $1M price bracket have increased by a total of 32% since 2015 after steady year-on-year growth. Sales to occur for under $400K have shown a year-on-year decrease and now make up just 33% of the market, half the share found three years prior.
Riverstone Terraces holds title as the most expensive suburb in the Upper Hutt region with a median sell price of $722,500 as of the December 2017 quarter. Timberlea recorded the lowest median value of $375,000 however also experienced the most rapid price appreciation with value growth of 41.5% since the same quarter a year prior. It is important to note that value changes may reflect small sample sizes due to the limited number of transactions to take place within each suburb over the analysis period.
Detached housing continues to dominate the Upper Hutt market, making up 84% of all transactions. The proportion of townhouses and units has shown a slight increase over the 2017 year, up 0.8% and 0.2% respectively.
The total number of residential building consents issued increased by 17% over the 2017 year indicating the growing demand in Upper Hutt. A marked 12% increase in townhouse consents issued over 2017, could point to increased intensification going forward.
SALES HOT SPOTS – Upper Hutt Residential Sale Prices 2017 HY2