House prices continue to rise

MICHAEL FOREMAN
Last updated 14:05 09/12/2013

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Residential property values continued their seemingly inexorable rise in November according to figures released by valuation service QV.

The average national price rose by 9.2 per cent over the past year and 2.5 per cent over the past three months.

House prices are now 11 per cent higher than the previous market peak of late 2007. However, when adjusted for inflation, average national values remain 4.3 per cent below the 2007 peak.

QV research director Jonno Ingerson said today that although the impact of recent LVR (low-deposit mortgage) changes was yet to come through in QV statistics, there was anecdotal evidence of change in the market.

"There are reports of fewer potential buyers at open homes, longer marketing periods, and fewer auctions selling on the day," Ingerson said.

Prices in Auckland increased 15.2 per cent over the year and were 25.4 per cent above the previous peak. When adjusted for inflation, values were up 13.7 per cent over the past year and were 8.1 per cent above the 2007 peak. Waitakere showed the fastest annual increase at 19 per cent, with North Shore the next at 16.8 per cent.

QV valuer Bruce Wiggins said that although there had not been any distinct impact of the LVR changes in the Auckland market, open home numbers were decreasing and more sales were being made by negotiation rather than auction.

"Investors are also in the market, however they are only progressing on properties where they see good returns," Wiggins said.

In the Wellington area values have been flat with only a 3 per cent increase in prices over the year.

Prices in Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua continue to fluctuate. All these areas have seen a 0.2 per cent decline over the past three months, compared with a 2 per cent to 3 per cent rise over the year. In Wellington city, prices rose by 1.8 per cent over three months.

Wellington QV valuer Pieter Geill said: "Both the Wellington and Hutt Valley markets remain pretty flat, with buyers seemingly taking a lot of caution."

Values continued to rise in Christchurch but there were variations in different suburbs. Overall Christchurch values were 12.4 per cent above last year and up 3.2 per cent over the past three months.

In Banks Peninsula average prices fell by 1.1 per cent over three months, but all other suburbs increased with the central and northern areas of the city seeing the biggest increase of 3.6 per cent.

QV valuer Daryl Taggart said: "The market remains active but the LVR changes have removed some of the hype, and this is best seen in the activity at auctions".

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Values in Hamilton have grown 5.5 per cent over the year, and by 1.8 per cent over the past three months.

Dunedin prices remained steady with values now 3.5 per cent above last year after a 1.3 per cent increase in the last three months.

Most of the provincial centres experienced value rises although they were limited in some areas.

Prices in Whangarei, Thames-Coromandel, Taupo, Rotorua, Gisborne and Palmerston North were all up over the past three months, with Gisborne seeing the biggest rise of these regions, growing at 2.9 per cent in three months.

In the South Island, prices rose in nearly all regions over the last three months.

One exception was Queenstown Lakes where prices dropped 0.8 per cent. Southland and Gore saw some of the largest price increases, with 4.4 per cent and 3.9 per cent three-month rises respectively.

- Fairfax Media

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