6 Jun 2019

Property market growth slow despite CGT scrapping

5:28 am on 6 June 2019

Scrapping any prospect of a capital gains tax and a cut in the official cash rate (OCR) has done little to spur growth in the property market.

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Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The latest Quotable Value House Price Index is up 2.3 percent for the year, compared with 6.9 percent a year ago. The index rose 0.1 percent rise in the three months to May. The average value of a property is $686,954.

Value growth in Auckland fell by 2.1 percent on a year ago, to an average of $1,030,439.

QV senior consultant Paul McCorry said the main cities had caught the winter chills, while the more affordable regions were upholding growth.

"Our major centres are seeing the market soften, with Auckland continuing to record single digit negative growth over the quarter and the capital city seeing values plateau over the last three months. The rate of value growth has also started to slow in Dunedin following a succession of strong quarters," Mr McCorry said.

"At the same time, many regional centres are still very much in the upward stage of their growth cycle and continue to achieve strong yearly and quarterly value increases."

Mr McCorry said affordability was driving most buyer's decisions, making it harder to sell pricier properties.

"While well-presented and competitively priced homes continue to attract multiple offers, gone are the days where every vendor is guaranteed a handful of sealed envelopes on tender day.

"Sellers and their agents are now having to work extra hard to attract buyers towards higher-value properties."

Mr McCorry said he expected a lower OCR of 1.5 percent to kick more first home-buyers into gear and expand their budgets, however that was yet to be seen.

"It remains to be seen how much of this rate cut will be passed on to banks' day to day customers but it is definitely good news for borrowers."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in April abandoned plans for a capital gains tax and ruled out the tax while she was leader.

Mr Corry said the absence of a capital gains tax would encourage property investors to re-enter the market, but they wouldn't necessarily buy in the main cities because rents were increasing in the regions.

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