House prices climb $3K a week, rising at fastest rate since 2004

House prices are rising at the fastest rate since 2004.
JOHN NICHOLSON/FAIRFAX NZ

House prices are rising at the fastest rate since 2004.

The average New Zealand house value is rising by more than $10,000 a month, as investors snap up homes ahead of new lending restrictions.

The latest QV research shows the average house price now sits at $590,909, while the average house price in Auckland creeps closer to the million-dollar mark.

Across New Zealand house prices rose by 5.6 per cent in three months, the fastest rate since 2004, and equivalent to more than $30,000 in 90 days.

In June alone, the average house value rose by more than $3000 a week.

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QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said markets around the country were being driven by strong investor demand, low interest rates, rapid price growth in the Auckland market and strong net migration.

Data from CoreLogic showed the share of sales in Auckland to investors was 46 per cent, up from 37 per cent in 2012, Rush said.

"The Reserve Bank is considering introducing further restrictions on property investors and it appears this may have led to a surge in investor purchases in various housing market around the country over the past month," Rush said.

"With the proposed Auckland unitary plan implementation recommendations due this month, it's hoped this will provide for much needed new housing supply and infrastructure for the growing super city region to alleviate upward pressure on property values."

Meanwhile, in the main centres, the Hamilton market saw the strongest growth, up 29 per cent over the past year, and Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin markets had also seeing rapid value growth of between 4 and 6 per cent over the past three months, she said.

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"Regional areas within commuting distance of the main centres also continue to see strong upward pressure on values with Queenstown Lakes District seeing the greatest increase with values rising 10.7 per cent over the past three months and 25 per cent year-on-year."

Auckland

Home values continue to rise across all parts of the super city region with the former Manukau City suburbs seeing the strongest growth, up 20.4 per cent since June 2015.

That growth puts the average value there at $842,142, while across Auckland it is around $975,000.

The former Auckland City Council suburbs have increased by 4.9 per cent over the past three months, with the average value there now $1.14m.

Waitakere City values rose 4.3 per cent over the past three months, while values in the former North Shore City suburbs increased 5.4 per cent during the same period.

The average house prices are $771,270 and $1.135m respectively.

QV valuer James Wilson said throughout June they had seen a continuation of the buoyant market conditions in the Auckland housing market.

"There's still a shortage of listings and well-presented properties are moving increasingly quickly, in some cases offers are made and accepted without the property reaching the wider market and we continue to see high levels of speculation in the market."

Based on past market behaviour, Wilson anticipated the surge in activity to continue, until such time as any announcement or strengthening of LVRs was released by the Reserve Bank, he said.

Hamilton and Tauranga

Home values across Hamilton City continue to show exceptionally strong growth rising 29 per cent since June last year, and 6.9 per cent over the past three months.

The average value in the city is now $492,403.

QV Hamilton valuer Stephen Hare said the city's market was still seeing strong demand with values being driven up as the supply of properties on the market was not able to keep up with demand.

"We are continuing to see high levels of activity and demand at the lower value end of the market in the price bracket of $400,000 to $600,000 from first home buyers and investors.

One growing trend was first home buyers getting "priced out" of the Hamilton market and were instead buying in townships within commuting distance of the city as they search for homes they can afford to buy, Hare said.

"[But] these first home buyers are now also competing with investors looking for better yields.

A number of Aucklanders were also relocating to Cambridge, due to the more affordable housing it offers, he said.

Meanwhile, home values in Tauranga City continue to rise rapidly up 23.6 per cent year-on-year and 4.9 per cent over the past three months. The average value in the city is now just shy of $600,000 at $599,915.

Wellington

Home values in Wellington increased 5.1 per cent over the past three months and are now 13.3 per cent higher than in the previous peak of 2007.

The average value across the wider region is now $516,430.

Home values in Wellington City suburbs continue to rise rapidly up 5.4 per cent over the past three months and 14.4 per cent year on year. The average value there is now $625,319.

QV Wellington valuer Pieter Geill said there remained an "extreme shortage of properties listed for sale" pushing prices higher.

"We are seeing all properties selling, even monolithic sheathed homes, properties with poor interior layout or with little sun that would have had strong buyer resistance a year ago," he said.

"It appears buyers are prepared to make compromises to enable them to buy a home."

Christchurch

Home values in Christchurch city increased just 1.1 per cent over the past three months, but are now 29.5 per cent higher than the previous peak of 2007.

The average value in the city is $491,148.

QV Christchurch valuer Damian Kennedy said the Christchurch market could be characterised as "less speculative, and more realistic", than other faster moving markets around the country.

"We are seeing a slow and steady increase in values across the market and despite there being a shortage of listings on the market across all value ranges this does not seem to have led to upward pressure on value levels."

* Comments on this story are now closed. 

 - Stuff

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