City property values regain lost ground

HELEN HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 16/06/2014

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Unlike many regions around the country, property prices in New Plymouth are heading back towards the levels they were before the global financial crisis, according to figures from Quotable Value.

Values in the city are up 1.2 per cent in the past three months, 5 per cent year-on-year and 6 per cent since the previous peak in 2007.

Properties in New Plymouth have an average value of $350,673.

"New Plymouth has the benefit of a strong dairy industry in the surrounding rural areas close to the city," QV New Plymouth registered valuer Tony Welch said.

"However, the main thing that sets the district apart from other regional centres around the country is the oil and gas industry here.

"The Maui gas field off New Plymouth provides well-paid employment for people in the city; even for non-skilled workers pay rates are above average."

The oil and gas and dairy industries brought jobs and money and boosted the demand for homes, so this had helped the property market move forward since the global financial crisis, he said.

"New Plymouth has recently had some record residential property sales. One waterfront home sold for a record $2.81 million and then another soon after for $2.9m, breaking the record set by the previous sale."

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand spokesman Garry Malcolm said a small increase in properties priced over $400,000 had increased the median price.

At the moment there was a shortage of properties, he said.

"That's our biggest problem. Sales are down across Taranaki because vendors are reluctant to put their houses on the market in the winter, which is the best time because there is no competition."

There was more interest in the upper price bracket. There was less interest at the lower end of the market, because there were fewer properties for sale and the LVR restrictions had impacted on first-home buyers, Malcolm said.

Many property markets in other regions had still not reached levels seen seven years ago before the global financial crisis hit in 2008.

The latest QV residential price movement index for May 2014 shows that property values in the majority of regions around the country are still below the previous peak of late 2007 before the financial crisis.

Even values in the largest cities around New Zealand, excluding Auckland and Christchurch, have not increased much in the past seven years.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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