House price increases slow as new lending rules begin to take effect - QV

The average price for a house in New Zealand will now set you back $622,309.
Fairfax NZ

The average price for a house in New Zealand will now set you back $622,309.

New Zealand's hot housing market is showing signs of cooling down.

While the value of homes throughout the country has increased more than 12 per cent during the year to October, this is the slowest rate of increase since May.

At the same time, the number of sales are down, as are mortgage approval rates.

However, Wellington is bucking the trend. Its house values continue to grow at a faster rate than Auckland.

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"The housing market in the capital appears largely unaffected by the new LVR [loan to value ratio] restrictions - particularly at the more affordable end of the market in areas such as the Hutt Valley, Porirua and the Kapiti Coast," QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said.

In mid-July the Reserve Bank announced new tighter restrictions on residential lending, including a requirement for no more than 5 per cent of bank lending to residential property investors to those with less than 40 per cent equity.

The latest round of LVR restrictions were beginning to take effect, Rush said.
"Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton home values are continuing to rise, just at a slightly slower pace than they were prior to the new LVR measures being introduced in late July."

The average price for a house in New Zealand is now $622,309.

However, the new build market remained strong throughout the country, as the LVR restrictions for investors did not apply to new homes, Rush said.

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"Less established investors appear to be having difficulty raising finance with the new 40 per cent deposit requirement...
"Those investors shut out of more expensive markets appear to be turning their sights to more affordable markets in relatively close proximity to North Island main centres, such as the Western Bay of Plenty, Whangarei, Rotorua and the Waikato district and all of these areas continue to see very strong value growth."

The Auckland market has increased 13.8 per cent year on year - the slowest rate since March 2015. The average value for the Auckland region is now $1.045 million.

QV Auckland general manager Jan O'Donoghue said she was continuing to see a lower level of activity and demand in the market.

However, house values kept rising and there was continued strength in the $1.5m bracket of the market, she said.

In the wider Wellington regions, house values jumped by 21.1 per cent in a year, including 6.6 per cent in three months.

Wellington City values increased by 21.3 per cent in a year, and 6 per cent in three months, to an average value of $671,387.

QV homevalue general manager David Nagel said there was still strong demand from buyers and investors.

"The upper end of the market is not experiencing as much activity, demand and value growth as the low end of the market currently.

"However, good quality, high end, central Wellington properties attract high interest when they come onto the market, because there isn't many of them available, and they sell quickly," he said.

"We continue to see potential buyers who have missed out on multiple properties, becoming frustrated which can then fuel the market, as these buyers can resort to desperate measures and high offers to secure a property."

The common issue of a shortage of properties on the market, was still causing issues.

"To date, the usual annual seasonal surge in property listings has not eventuated."

The Hutt Valley market was continuing to show strong value growth, while the Kapiti Coast was becoming more popular, Nagel said.

"This is primarily down to there being more affordable, entry-level properties in the Hutt Valley both for first home buyers and investors."

"The Kapiti Coast market is also continuing to experience high demand as it develops well into a serious alternative for Wellingtonians -  particularly with new motorway and infrastructure development underway, which is hoped will stabilise and possibly reduce the commuting distance between Wellington and the Kapiti Coast."

On the up and up:

Average house value & 12-month increase

Auckland region: $1,045,207 - up 13.8 per cent

Wellington region: $558,886 - up 21.1 per cent

Christchurch: $498,425 - up 4.7 per cent

Tauranga: $651,725 - up 27 per cent

Dunedin: $341,566 - up 13 per cent

Hamilton: $537,388 - up 25 per cent

 - Stuff


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