NZ's new property hot-spots
West Auckland and Christchurch's Port Hills are some of the country's surprising new property hot-spots, according to the latest figures from valuation service QV.
QV's monthly figures show residential property values have risen 8.4 per cent nationally compared to September last year, and by 2.6 per cent in the past three months.
House values were pushed up once again by the housing shortages in Auckland and Canterbury. Outside those two regions, most provinces were seeing annual price growth of 2 to 3 per cent, said QV.co.nz research director Jonno Ingerson.
"Most of the rest of the main cities and provincial towns are also increasing but at a much more modest rate."
Nationally, house values - as opposed to sales prices - were 9.2 per cent higher than the previous market peak of 2007, although they were 4.9 per cent below the peak when adjusted for inflation.
In Auckland's red-hot market , values were up 13.6 per cent year-on-year and 21 per cent above market peak.
Auckland valuers said the lower end of the market below $450,000 had been very busy, as first-home buyers with pre-approvals tried to beat limits on low-deposit mortgages introduced this month. The south Auckland suburbs of Manurewa and Papakura had been popular, and real estate agents said there was strong activity in west Auckland where transport and shopping links were improving.
While most areas of Auckland had seen a 3 to 4 per cent rise in values over the past three months, Waitakere's had lifted 5.4 per cent.
Craig Smith of LJ Hooker Titirangi said one driving factor in Auckland's central west had been a new international school in neighbouring Blockhouse Bay.
New Lynn was also on the cusp of becoming chic, as more than $100m in new projects went into the area.
But the introduction of the LVR restrictions would eventually have an impact.
"You can't take first-home buyers out of the marketplace totally and not expect that there will be changes."
Ingerson said it remained to be seen whether the LVR restrictions would have much impact on overall activity and price levels, especially in areas with more affordable properties.
In Wellington, property values had climbed 2.9 per cent in the past year, thanks to steady demand from first-home buyers.
"Generally, we have seen these buyers looking for properties that don't require a lot of work and are purchasing in more affordable areas such as Wainuiomata," said QV valuer Pieter Geill.
In Christchurch values were up nearly 11 per cent in the last year and 2.2 per cent higher in the past three months.
Lynette McFadden, business owner of Harcourts Gold in Redwood, said the effectiveness of auctions and an influx of arrivals for the rebuild were stoking the city's housing shortage,
Properties in the north-west of the city and new subdivisions were buyer favourites, and two years after the September 2011 quake, people were beginning to return to the Port Hills. Values in the hill suburbs were up 11 per cent on a year ago.
McFadden said she detected a drop-off in first-home buyers already and said that, although it probably had not inflated prices, there was a definite trend towards "as is, where is" sales.
These were sales of damaged properties which could not get insurance and were selling for near-land price, allowing paid-out owners to recoup more than just the value of their buildings. Buyers tended to be tradespeople or investors, and paid in cash, she said. "So far this year we've sold 45 of those properties."
A selection from QV's property values around the country in September:
12 month % change Three month % change From the 2007 peak
Auckland area 13.6 3.7 21.3
Waikato 4.1 0 -10.8
Napier 2.8 0.2 -4.6
New Plymouth 4.8 0.8 2.3
Palmerston North 2.1 0.1 -4.1
Manawatu 4.1 0.5 -6.3
Horowhenua 3.1 0.4 -15.7
Kapiti 2.4 0.6 -4.6
Masterton -1.3 -0.9 -17.7
Carterton 3.2 -1.7 -10.7
South Wairarapa 5.0 2.0 -12.2
Wellington area 2.9 0.6 -1.8
Nelson 4.8 1.3 4.1
Marlborough 3.8 1.4 -10.7
Selwyn 11.7 2.7 27.7
Waimakariri 8.7 3.1 21.8
Hurunui 6.5 2.9 7.4
Christchurch 10.8 2.2 15.7
Ashburton 8.7 1.5 9.3
Timaru 7.0 2.7 9.5
Dunedin 1.8 - 0.3 -0.5
Southland -2.6 -3.6 -12.5
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