More first-home buyers lured south

Affordable Southland properties, known for attracting out-of-town investors, are now luring first-time home buyers.

Westpac Southland area manager Andrew Moreton said there had been a noticeable increase.

"People have started to use their KiwiSaver, which has triggered an increase in first-time buyers," he said.

ASB Invercargill manager Wayne Ellis said a recipe of the KiwiSaver, low interest rates and affordable property had generated first-time buyer interest, particularly from younger people.

The QV property value trends for April 2012 showed first-home buyers were increasing throughout the country.

The report says the trend was encouraged by the Welcome Home Loan package and low interest rates. It predicts sales activity will slow down a little over winter but the increased confidence in the property market is likely to carry through into spring.

According to trends property values rose in the Southland, Invercargill, Gore and Central Otago districts last month, but fell slightly in Queenstown and Clutha districts.

The index shows property values were 6.5 per cent higher in the Southland district last month compared with April last year, with an average sale price of $201,768.

Values in Invercargill increased 1.7 per cent. The average property sale price was $207, 043.

Central Otago values rose 2.4 per cent, with the average price of $307,693.

The index showed property values for Gore and Clutha might not be statistically accurate because the values were based on a low volume of sales.

They showed Gore was up 5.4 per cent from last year, while Clutha was down 2.6 per cent.

The average price paid in Gore was $197,587 and $158,038 in Clutha.

Queenstown Lakes was down 0.3 per cent from last April, with the average sale price for a property at $531,948.

Nationally, residential property values resumed their gentle rise. Values were up 0.4 per cent during the past three months and up 3.1 per cent above the same time last year, with the average sale price $397,905.

An increase in values in several Southland regions was helping to push up nationwide values.

Values were now 2.9 per cent below the previous market peak of late 2007.

Data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand April 2012 report shows nationally there was a 13.8 per cent increase in unconditional sales in the month, to a total of 5676.

This was an increase of 689 sales compared with the same time last year.

The Southland Times