City's house values 20% up on 2007

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 06:00 15/01/2014

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Christchurch had the highest house inflation in Canterbury during 2013, with high demand pushing values to an average of $455,264.

This was a jump of 12.7 per cent in a year, putting values in the city 20 per cent above their 2007 market peak.

The figures, from state-owned valuer Quotable Value (QV), showed values rose the most in south and west Christchurch. In Waimakariri and Selwyn districts, they went up 8.5 per cent and 12.3 per cent respectively.

Jonno Ingerson, QV research director, said it was hard to forecast what Canterbury values would do this year.

While they had shown "early signs of faltering" in the past few months, this could be the temporary effect of the clampdown on low-deposit mortgages, he said.

Alternatively values may have "reached their ceiling", something which would become apparent in a few months.

Ingerson said that for 2014, an expected rise in mortgage interest rates would have the biggest impact on the nation's housing markets.

It would "increase the cost of servicing mortgages which in turn will lead to people borrowing less and therefore offering less for properties".

However, rising consumer and business confidence could be a counter-influence by contributing to price rises, he said.

Nationally, the Auckland region's rise in values of 15.4 per cent was the biggest for 2013, while most other regions had increases in single figures.

The QV report said some people needing a bigger home deposit would rethink their options over the holidays, starting the year with plans to save more, find an alternative source of funds, or lower their housing expectations.

In other South Island regions, average values at the end of 2013 and annual increases were: Ashburton $313,280 (7.5 per cent), Timaru $276,606, (5.8 per cent), Nelson $402,399 (3.5 per cent), Marlborough $343,168 (1.7 per cent), Central Otago $309,781 (4.5 per cent), Queenstown Lakes $646,375 (5 per cent), Dunedin $290,253 (3.8 per cent), and Invercargill $203,787 (down 0.9 per cent).

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- The Press

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