[Via Stuff]

House prices in Wellington have shot up nearly 10 per cent over the past year as fringe suburbs become increasingly sought after among first-home buyers.

Quotable Value’s house price index, published on Wednesday, shows values in Wellington suburbs increased 3.4 per cent over the past three months and 9.9 per cent over the past year from April, taking the average value in the capital up to $599,482.

QV valuer David Cornford said Tawa, Johnsonville, Newlands, the Hutt Valley, Paparangi and Porirua were popular with first-home buyers forced to look further from the city to secure a home.

Lower Hutt rose 3 per cent over the past three months and 7 per cent over the year, with an average value over $400,000. Porirua also rose 2.9 per cent, while the Kapiti Coast was up 3.3 per cent.

Houses in the Lower Hutt suburb of Petone sold above $700,000, with a handful going for more than $800,000. A year to 18 months ago, it was relatively uncommon to see a sale in Petone above $700,000, Cornford said.

With its matching street names, weatherboard houses, character and cafes, Petone had a similar feel to Wellington’s inner-city suburbs, Professionals agent Luke Johnson said.

“It’s incredible. The market’s sped right up since September. It’s just mad.”

The company recently listed two houses in Richmond St, which sold for $211,000 and $165,000 over their rateable values.

Johnson said the surge showed no sign of stopping, with another house bought in Jessie St late last year for $585,000 selling in April for $701,000 after being on the market for just one day.

“The market’s unpredictable. It’s strong for sellers and buyers are just driving up their own prices as they compete with each other,” Johnson said.

Sales above $300,000 in Lower Hutt suburbs Taita and Naenae were also on the rise.

Across the Wellington region, values are now 9 per cent higher than the previous peak in 2007, with the average value hitting $496,812.

– via Stuff

Read the full article.