Good decade for Otago house values

By any measure, property investors and owner-occupiers have had a pretty good decade.

The average home in the Dunedin area has shown 86% capital growth over the past 10 years and the Central Otago and Queenstown-Lakes districts came in at 92% and 95.7% respectively.

The latest residential statistics from the Real Estate Institute show that someone who bought a house in greater Dunedin in 2010 for the then-average price of $245,000, would now be sitting on a property valued at about $456,000 — a 6.4% annual compound growth rate.

Those who invested in Queenstown, Arrowtown or Wanaka would have netted a more sizeable return, purely on the basis of a higher starting value — up from $488,000 to $955,000.

The 10-year review showed that the big winners were those who had opted for the Mackenzie District, who would have paid about $200,000 for homes now be valued closer to $500,000.

Institute chief executive Bindi Norwell, said over the 10-year period, 59 of the country’s 72 districts saw median price increases of more than 50%, and five districts increased by 100%.

The median price overall had appreciated by 68% over the past decade, from $352,000 to $590,000 last year. Excluding Auckland, the increase was slightly down at 62.3%, to $500,000.

She noted that the Queenstown Lakes district was in the top 10, even though it had started as the third most expensive district in 2010.

It was now the second most expensive, behind North Shore City.

Ms Norwell said the Mackenzie district offered the same "picture-postcard views’’ as Queenstown Lakes, but was more affordable and did not have the hustle and bustle of constant tourism.

"The area is popular with owner-occupiers, investors and holiday-home buyers alike and we’re also hearing that more and more people who have holidayed there over the years are now looking to retire there.’’

On the other side of the coin, homeowners in the Grey District had made a capital loss. The median price there had fallen by more than a fifth from $235,000 to $185,000.

According to the review, the Buller District had shown only a 9.5% increase over the 10 years, and the Far North was only one third up over the period.

"The districts with the largest median price growth over the last decade are spread geographically around the country from Waitakere District in Auckland, down to the Queenstown-Lakes and Central Otago Districts in Otago ... no one particular region has faced higher levels of unaffordability or growth," Ms Norwell said.


Increase in median price 2010 v 2019

DistrictMedian 2010 Median 2019 change

$115,000 $265,000 130.4%
Waitakere City
South Waikato
Central Hawke's Bay
Central Otago



"Good decade for Otago house values" just not for home buyers.