House prices up, but rise slows

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 14:01 06/03/2014

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Christchurch house prices are still rising, but not as quickly as last year.

The city's average house value is now $457,744 after growing 11.1 per cent in the past 12 months, according to Quotable Value (QV).

The valuation agency's latest report suggests October's clampdown on low-deposit home loans may be slowing price growth. The trend affects mainly first home buyers and is being seen nationwide.

QV's figures show values in the city have risen 1.7 per cent in the past three months.

The Reserve Bank restricted bank lending where deposits were less than 20 per cent of a home's value, attempting to rein in the country's heated housing market.

In Selwyn district, values rose 1.1 per cent in the past quarter and 9.9 per cent in the past year, and now average $492,192. In Waimakariri, the average value was $399,762, a rise of 1.5 per cent in the past quarter and 8.7 per cent in the past year.

QV valuer Daryl Taggart said values in Christchurch were now more than 20.6 per cent above their previous market peak from 2007.

"Rather than the post-earthquake panic where people in many cases were paying top dollar, the growth in the market is starting to slow although there are still a number of buyers and the good properties are still selling well."

There was ''continued interest from investors as a result of the good rental returns'' in Christchurch, including the high-priced rental market in furnished homes for people sitting out earthquake repairs.

Taggart said bare sections were still selling sell as the rebuild continued.

Chris Kennedy from the region's biggest real estate group, Harcourts, said they had seen a drop in sales as there were too few homes available to meet demand. More than a third of the group's listings in the city were now being auctioned, a big jump from previous years.

Within Christchurch, the QV data showed the highest annual growth in values has been in the south-west, followed by the central and north.

Nationally the annual growth in values was 9.3 per cent.

Average values and annual growth in other districts

Nelson $402,553 (3.2%)

Marlborough $342,744 (1%)

Hurunui $341,699 (3.7%)

Ashburton $313,835 (6.3%)

Timaru $275,215 (5.5%)

Central Otago $314,247 (7.2%)

Queenstown Lakes $661,594 (6.5%)

Dunedin $288,624 (1.7%)

Invercargill 205,737 (-0.2%).

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- The Press

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