Property values march higher

CATHERINE HARRIS
Last updated 14:07 08/11/2012
mortgage
MARCHING HIGHER: Property values continue to rise Quotable Value says.

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Property values continued to strengthen in October, edging up 1.9 per cent in the past three months nationally, Quotable Value said today.

A late spring surge in buyer interest and sales had pushed the national average price up to $420,048, 5.7 per cent higher than a year ago.

QV has changed its methodology slightly and prices in the last three months relate to its index, rather than the average sales price.

Jonno Ingerson, QV.co.nz's research director, said a lack of listings was still holding the market back, particularly in Auckland and Canterbury where housing was limited.

Although those cities were driving up the price, "there are some signs that other main centres and provincial cities are increasing in value also".

All the main provincial centres improved in the last three months, except for Wanganui and Invercargill which eased slightly, and Whangarei which fell 1.3 per cent.

Values in the wider Auckland area have risen 3.3 per cent over the last three months, and 9.2 per cent in the past year.

QV operations manager Kerry Stewart said in Auckland good properties were attracting "numerous interested buyers, with auctions especially proving successful for many, with multiple bidders not uncommon".

And there were signs that investors were returning to the market.

"Most [are] looking to on-sell relatively quickly as they try to capitalise on the the quick growth," said Stewart.

In Hamilton, values firmed 0.5 per cent most recently and 3.1 per cent for the year, while Tauranga's mixed market saw an annual increase of 2.2 per cent.

Wellington was marginally stronger, up 0.6 per cent and 2.4 per cent for the year, as properties which had sat on the market over winter started to find buyers.

Values in earthquake-damaged Christchurch continued to soar, rising 1.8 per cent in the last three months and 5.9 per cent for the year.

Dunedin enjoyed a 1.4 per cent rise recently and is up 4.5 per cent for the year.

The figures also show property values are now marginally above the market peak of 2007 at 1.1 per cent.

Auckland is 9.1 per cent above its peak price and Christchurch is 3.8 per cent higher.

House values in Selwyn and Timaru - areas which swelled after Christchurch's quake exodus - are up nearly 14 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively.

But the data is clear some areas have done vastly better than others. In the central North Island town of Kawerau, for instance, property values are down 40 per cent from their peak, reflecting recent changes at the local mill.

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Also well down on their peak were Waikato (-19 per cent), Napier (-7.2 per cent), central Hawkes Bay (-20 per cent), Horowhenua (-18 per cent), Masterton and South Wairarapa (-17 per cent), wider Wellington (-5.1 per cent), Southland (-11.4 per cent) and Queenstown Lakes (-12.9 per cent).

Prices in major urban areas generally were 4.1 per cent higher than the peak.

- BusinessDay.co.nz

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