2 Nov 2017

House prices cool around the country

5:36 am on 2 November 2017

The housing market continues to cool, with the slowest annual rate of price growth in more than five years.

An auction sign outside a house for sale in Auckland.

Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

The latest QV data shows nationwide house prices rose 3.9 percent over the year to October, the slowest annual rate since June 2012.

And values rose by 0.9 percent over the past three months. The national average value is now $646,807.

Prices were down or dropping in Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton and Christchurch, but still showing moderate growth in Wellington and parts of Dunedin.

The strongest provincial growth was in South Wairarapa, the Far North, Stratford, Ruapehu, Otorohanga and Southland.

QV national spokesperson Andrea Rush said the market was normalising, with fewer investors in the market, but more first-time home buyers.

"The ... data is showing the nationwide share of sales to investors has dropped back to 38.5 percent from a high of 40.5 percent in 2014 in favour of first home buyers whose share has risen to 21.6 percent," she said.

However, she said bank lending restrictions were making it difficult for some buyers to arrange a mortgage.

"In general there appears to be a trend of slowing in the rate of growth with the frenzy induced by high numbers of investors in the market subsiding and a return to more normal levels of activity in housing market around the country," she said.

She said some property developers in parts of Christchurch and Auckland were having to drop prices to meet the market.

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