Auckland average house value cracks $800,000, says QV
Auckland average house prices have cracked the $800,000 level, according to valuation service QV.
QV's house price index shows values in the red-hot Auckland housing market in April rose 14.6 per cent year on year, and 4.3 per cent over the past three months, taking the average house value to $809,200.
The number of sales had also reached levels not seen since 2007.
Auckland's fortunes pushed up the national average house value to $507,040, an increase of 8.3 per cent over the last year and 2.6 per cent in the past three months.
QV spokesperson Andrea Rush said values in Auckland had risen noticeably sharper in the last six months.
"With net migration at a record 54,000 and still rising and 50 per cent of migrants moving to Auckland, home values in the Super City are likely to remain high and keep rising during 2015 as supply continues to outstrip demand."
Auckland City home values were led by Auckland City-South which continued to see "massive increases," up 19.2 per cent year on year.
In Waitakere City, values surged 16.4 per cent since April last year and in Manukau-East values were up 13.6 per cent.
Over the bridge, properties rose the most in North Shore-Onewa, up 16.3 per cent annually.
QV Auckland valuer James Wilson said buyers were wary of being priced out by further increases in prices and were willing to pay a premium.
"Investors are still very active in the market, capitalising on low interest rates, high equity across their portfolios and rapidly rising prices."
Confidence was also evident in the apartment market, through the large number of new complexes being constructed and purchases off the plans.
Elsewhere in the country, Hamilton and Tauranga - which tend to enjoy a spillover effect from Auckland - were also enjoying moderate growth.
Hamilton city values were up 3.3 per cent for the year, and Tauranga was enjoying a fresh surge of popularity, up 5.8 per cent for the year.
Valuers estimated that about 60 per cent of people attending open homes in Tauranga were investors from Auckland, people who have moved for work, families looking for affordable homes and retirees.
Out-of-towners were also starting to look at Mt Maunganui and Papamoa for more affordable properties, with interest from as far afield as Christchurch.
Te Puke was also attracting interest although that had not yet translated into price increases, and there was high demand from Aucklanders,ex-patriate Kiwis and some Australians in parts of Western Bay of Plenty.
Excluding Auckland, values in the main centres rose more moderately, with Dunedin the only market to lose traction over the last three months.
In Wellington, the overall house value was $458,295, up 0.5 per cent for the last three months and 0.7 per cent for the year.
Valuers said sales in April had not been as strong as March but were robust in Lower Hutt, where agents were selling more than they could list.
In Christchurch city, values had virtually flattened since February and were up 4.7 per cent year on year to $473,053.
QV valuer Daryl Taggart said there was still growth in the Christchurch market but some houses were now selling for the same price as a year ago.
"Some areas may have found their peak."
House values in Dunedin have fallen 0.5 per cent since February but were still 0.6 per cent up on last April.
In the provinces, QV said some areas were still flat but others have picked up over the summer. Improvements were notable in Gisborne district,Wairoa and Whangarei districts.
In the South Island, the Clutha district had a 3.8 per cent increase in values since February and values rose 2.9 per cent and 2.6 per cent in the Mackenzie district and Queenstown respectively.