5 Nov 2018

Nine suburbs in Wellington hit $1m as house values rise

3:11 pm on 5 November 2018

Latest property valuations show nine suburbs in Wellington now have an average house price of $1 million.

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Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The valuations, which are done every three years, also showed the average house price in Wellington city was $877,000, 45 percent more than it was in 2015.

In 2015, three suburbs had an average house price of more than $1m.

Khandallah, Kelburn (central), Kelburn (north), Oriental Bay, Hataitai, Seatoun, Thorndon, Te Aro and Mount Victoria are now all in the million-dollar club.

Quotable Value's general manager David Nagel was not surprised by the figures.

"We're seeing growth right around New Zealand. This is just following what's happening in other parts of New Zealand. Wellington was probably a little bit slow for the market to kick off compared to Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga."

Over the past three years the capital had some of the highest growth of any of the main centres, Mr Nagel said.

The increase in house value was "significant" across the board - suburbs that tended to have more affordable housing had seen the biggest increase in prices.

The city had also seen an increase in the number of houses built - by 3.2 percent.

The property values would only create a small variation on rate, the city council's chief financial officer Andy Matthews said.

The council's target for a rates increase for 2019/20 was 3.6 percent, and the revaluation did not change that.

"The valuations are simply a method that was used to spread the rates across property owners."

If properties all went up at the same rate, the split remained the same, Mr Matthews said.

"In this case, when you've seen relatively consistent value rises, we wouldn't expect there to be significant changes in rates unless a property went up by significantly more or less than somebody else's."

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester said usually property prices increased by 50 percent every 10-12 years.

He said the increase would have some consequences around affordability.

"Our commitment as a council, is we want to see more affordable construction take place.

"We're doing that in the CBD, we're doing that with our social housing and we're partnering with government to make sure we see more KiwiBuild properties being built in Wellington city.

"It is good that the economy's strong but we want to make sure that everyone has access to it, and everybody still has the ability in Wellington to own their own home."

He said there had also been a record level of consents in the city, creating more supply.

Property owners would have an opportunity to lodge objections to the new valuations until 20 December.