Chch house prices up 7 per cent
Christchurch house prices are continuing their steady rise and are now more than 7 per cent up on a year ago.
State-owned valuation agency Quotable Value (QV) says the city's average house price hit $407,343 in January as competing buyers pushed prices up.
Prices are now 7.1 per cent higher than at the start of last year and have risen 2.4 per cent in the past three months.
QV valuer Daryl Taggart said the Canterbury market was picking up after a quiet period over Christmas.
''Although there continues to be strong demand from first-home buyers and investors at the lower end of the market, we are seeing good sales and activity towards the top end now as well.''
He said the parts of Christchurch least affected by the earthquakes continued to have strong appeal to buyers, as did outlying areas.
The hill suburbs of Cashmere and Westmorland showed particularly strong sales volumes, he said.
Prices rose by 4.4 per cent in eastern Christchurch, 8.7 per cent in the south and west and 7.9 per cent in the centre and north.
Average values were also up strongly in the past 12 months outside the city, with a rise of 13 per cent to $448,906 in Selwyn and 9.1 per cent to $365,981 in the Waimakariri District.
The QV figures show house prices are up in most parts of New Zealand, led by the Auckland region with an annual rise of 10.2 per cent and an average value of $615,086.
QV's research director, Jonno Ingerson, said there was an increase in market confidence across most of the country.
He said a lack of properties for sale was constraining sales volumes, leading to reduced buyer choice, quick sales and upward pressure on prices.
Westpac senior economist Michael Gordon said the bank expected a 9 per cent rise in nationwide house prices this year.