Fewer homes for sale but Christchurch house market steady
New figures reveal a steady Christchurch housing market in the past year – with values rising just 2.5 per cent during 2016.
Valuation agency Quotable Value (QV) said the city's average house value in December was $494,247, down slightly from November and up from $482,043 in December 2015.
QV spokesman Damian Kennedy said the market as 2016 ended was "relatively quiet" in Christchurch. Several other centres also had a December slowdown, with buyers waiting until after the holidays to buy or sell.
The number of homes listed for sale in the city was 20 per cent down from the previous December. Well-presented homes in the $500,000 price bracket and first-buyer homes remained popular with buyers, Kennedy said.
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He noted that investor activity had slowed due to lending restrictions.
Kennedy said first-home buyers were also affected by the restrictions, which limit the number of low-deposit mortgages banks can make, because some banks counted parents' contributions as loans.
The Reserve Bank defines a low deposit as less than 20 per cent for a home buyer, and less than 40 per cent for an investor. First time buyers using the Housing New Zealand Welcome Home loan scheme are exempt from the rules.
All South Island districts had a rise in values in the past year, except for Buller, where they fell slightly. Queenstown Lakes had the South Island's biggest rise of over 30 per cent.
North Island districts on average has higher rises in values, especially in the Waikato, Wellington, Tauranga and Napier areas.
The regions with the highest average values were Auckland with $1,047,179 and Queenstown Lakes with $1,022,214.
Nationally the average value was $627,905, up 12.5 per cent in a year.
Average values, annual change:
Nelson $499,866 +16.6%
Marlborough $421,688 +15.2%
Waimakariri $431,724 +3.5%
Christchurch $494,247 +2.5%
Selwyn $544,335 +3.8%
Ashburton $352,732 +3.2%
Timaru $334,433 +6.5%
Queenstown Lakes $1,022,214 +$31.6%
Dunedin $354,133 +14.6%
Southland $228,760 +7.6%
Invercargill $236,416 +9.8%