1 Dec 2015

NZ house prices rise but Auckland growth slows

3:27 pm on 1 December 2015

Property prices are continuing to rise but new investor rules appear to be easing the Auckland market.

The QV House Price index jumped 15 percent in November when compared with a year ago, the fastest rate of growth since February 2006. The national average value is $555,729.

House for sale in Upper Hutt.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Auckland property values rose 24 percent over the year, with the average now $931,807.

QV national spokesperson Andrea Rush said values in Auckland were rising at a slower rate than the month before.

Ms Rush said investor rules, along with restrictions on capital flow out of China, have led to an easing in the market.

"Net migration continues at record highs and interest rates lower than 4 percent are now being offered ahead of the expectation the Reserve Bank will lower the OCR this month, so it will be interesting to see how these factors impact on the market after Christmas."

Auckland apartment asking prices rise

Meanwhile, the national average asking price for houses on realestate.co.nz has remained below record highs for the past three months, the online advertiser says.

But asking prices for Auckland apartments were up 31.5 percent to a record $660,001 in November from about $500,000, the same time last year.

The national average for houses was $547,515 in November and $849,882 in Auckland.

Chief executive of realestate.co.nz Brendon Skipper said demand was particularly strong in regions near Auckland, with record high prices in Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Coromandel.

He said the number of new listings was down 5.6 percent nationwide, which was putting pressure on the already low inventory of homes available for sale, particularly in Wellington.

Tourism drives demand in Nelson

The strong tourism sector was fuelling demand for properties in Nelson and Tasman, QV said.

The agency's house price index for November showed Nelson city residential property values had risen by 2 percent over the past three months, and were almost 11 percent higher than the previous peak in 2007.

QV Nelson valuer Craig Russell said it was a similar story in neighbouring Tasman.

Mr Russell said "Mum and Dad" investors were viewing Nelson property as a favourable retirement investment option to complement KiwiSaver.

The expansion of Nelson Airport and more frequent flights had made the region more accessible to other regions, he said.