Real estate buyers all around the North Island should start paying more attention to the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions it seems. While Auckland has been the darling of residential property investors for a fair few years now, it is an unwise buyer who ignores a growing city right on their doorstep: new data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) has revealed that Waikato and the Bay of Plenty have outpaced Auckland in terms of year on year median property prices.

Boasting an enormous 12.8 per cent growth since January 2015, the Waikato/BOP region recorded the largest increase in median prices of anywhere in New Zealand, closely followed by Otago (12 per cent) and Hawkes Bay (11.8 per cent). Auckland, on the other hand, managed to grow 9.1 per cent in median prices, while also suffering a downturn in the total sales volume compared to the previous month: falling 31.4 per cent in the first month of the new year.

However, REINZ Chief Executive Colleen Milne describes how this fall might be a red herring.

"January is an unusual month for real estate data due to the Christmas/New Year period and the summer holiday break, so comparisons with December are always a bit difficult," she said in a statement.

"January typically has a significant drop in sales volume and a noticeable drop in median prices compared to December."

This usual drop, however, has evidently not significantly affected Tauranga and the surrounding region. Combined with the announcement of a number of new Special Housing Areas for 2016, investors who want to see the same kind of wealth generation seen in Central Auckland might find it a better idea to start seeking elsewhere before an influx of new housing meets the rising demand. As supply increases, you can bet prices will go in the opposite direction.

Daniel Carney
Authorised Financial Adviser / Investment Property Expert

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