House values rise south of railway tracks

Raymond Fife, Bluff Community Board chairman.
John Hawkins

Raymond Fife, Bluff Community Board chairman.

Residential property values in south Invercargill and Bluff have risen by more than 25 per cent in the last three years, outstripping the valuation rises in the more expensive north Invercargill suburbs, QV figures say.

Although property values continue to be considerably higher in the north of the city, the slight closing of the gap has been welcomed by Bluff and south Invercargill residents.

All property owners in Invercargill and Bluff will soon receive an updated rating value for their properties, which is the estimated price their properties would sell for at the time the valuation was done in July.

The council uses the property valuations to help set rates for its residents in the next three years.

The figures reveal residential property values overall in the city council catchment are 18 per cent higher than they were three years ago.

The average residential property in the Invercargill City Council catchment is now valued at $254,000, up from $210,000 in 2014.

When the figures are broken down into areas, it's Bluff and south Invercargill that have the highest percentage increases, up 25.9 and 25.3 per cent respectively.

Despite this, their average property values of $155,600 for Bluff and $186,500 for south Invercargill are still well below the top two areas of Otatara [$402,000] and "Gladstone, Avenal" [$366,000].

Quotable Value senior consultant Tim Gibson said the "low end" market had seen bigger property value increases than at the top end, and it was a trend repeated throughout many parts of the country.

"It's affordability, continuation of low interest rates."

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Invercargill deputy mayor Rebecca Amundsen welcomed the news, saying it was about time.

She hoped it was because the perception that one part of the city was better to live in than another was starting to evaporate.

"It might show there's an imbalance in north Invercargill house prices and it's just a readjustment."

The public perception of south Invercargill was continually improving, borne out in surveys, she said.

People moving to the city did not have pre-conceived ideas about south Invercargill, while good work had been done by South Alive to make the area more attractive and the south city shopping complex had been spruced up.

South Alive manager Cress Evans said south Invercargill and Bluff both had urban rejuvenation at their core. 

As such, she did not believe it was a coincidence their values had increased more than other areas.

The community had made it happen, she said.

Bluff Community Board chairman Ray Fife was surprised to hear house values had risen 25.9 per cent in the last three years.

But then he was quick to sing Bluff's virtues, pointing out its high number of homes with seaside views and the laid back lifestyle.

"It's an indication Bluff is going ahead and it's shown in the increase in house values."

Professionals general manager Jon Irving said sales had been great in all of Invercargill in the 12 months till the end of August, but had slowed in September.

Across the entire city council catchment - which includes Invercargill, Bluff and farm and lifestyle blocks -property values rose 13.4 per cent overall between 2014 and 2017.

This compares favourably to the period between 2011 and 2014, when the valuation rise was little more than 1 per cent,  Quotable Value figures show.

"A lot of the growth occurred in 2016 and into 2017. It's market driven, there's demand there," Gibson, of QV, said.

While land values in the Windsor area had increased by  45 per cent, the farming sector in the city council area had seen growth of just 2.1 per cent.

Lifestyle property values increased by 11.4 per cent overall in the last three years. 

In Queenstown, residential property values increased by more than 63 per cent in the past three years. 

 

 

 

 - The Southland Times

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