6 Mar 2019

House prices mixed: Auckland down as regions rise

5:21 am on 6 March 2019

Regional centres continued to experience strong growth in residential property values but there is still pressure at the top end of the market, according to latest figures.

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Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

The Quotable Value house price index shows national values rose just 0.7 percent in the February quarter, and 3 percent for the year.

The average national residential property value is just over $686,050.

QV general manager David Nagel said the market was mixed, with big centres and higher-priced suburbs feeling the pinch.

Hawke's Bay had some of the strongest growth rates across the country, with Hastings values rising nearly 10 percent in one quarter - the strongest growth in New Zealand.

Napier home values rose 12 percent year on year and about 5 percent in the last three months. Central Hawke's Bay values rose 6 percent in the last quarter.

QV figures showed Dunedin had strong growth among the main centres with a 14 percent rise in values in the past year. The average price in the city is $449,023.

At the same time, the Auckland market has fallen with the average value down by 0.9 percent year on year to $1,044,576, and 0.6 percent down over the last quarter.

Mr Nagel said the national growth rate had fallen from 6.5 percent to 3 percent year on year, suggesting "the heat has certainly been taken out of the market".

Some higher-priced suburbs around the country slowed, but more affordable areas were still attracting investors and first-home buyers, he said. An example was Upper Hutt which saw a 13.9 percent rise in a year.

"Interestingly, investors appear to remain fairly active," he said.

"I'll be closely watching how investor behaviour changes in the coming months, as we gain more certainty around the government's stance on the recommendations put forward by the Tax Working Group."

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