National house values up 10%

National house values ended 2013 up 10% year on year, but most of Otago fell far short of reaching any double-digit gains.

Government agency Quotable Value (QV) said the rise in national values was driven by strong increases in Auckland, and to a lesser extent Christchurch.

QV research director Jonno Ingerson said as with 2012 the 2013 increases were driven largely by Auckland, national values rising 3.0% in the past three months, up 10% in the past year and 12.5% above the previous market peak in late 2007.

The wider Auckland area was up 15.4% at $693,549, gains in the North Shore, Waitakere and South Manukau all ranged from above 15% to almost 20%, while central, north and southwest Christchurch booked gains of between 13% and 15%. Central Otago figures were up 4.5% at $309,781, the Queenstown Lakes area was up 5% at $646,375, while in Dunedin values rose 3.8% to $290,253.

Mr Ingerson said implementation of the Reserve Bank's loan-to-value restrictions on banks, to cool the market, had begun to have an impact.

''The number of sales slowed down and the number of new listings followed suit. As yet there appears to have been no impact on values, although it is really too early to expect dramatic change,'' Mr Ingerson said in a statement yesterday.

Provincial centres showed less of a clear trend during 2013 than the main centres, he said.

Apart from Wanganui and Queenstown, house values in most provincial centres increased during 2013, but the increases were less than 5%, the exceptions being Gisborne, which rose 5.5%, and New Plymouth, which was up 7.3%.

The other big influence on the property market this year would be rising mortgage interest rates, rises increasing the cost of servicing mortgages, which in turn would lead potential buyers to borrow less, putting downward pressure on property prices.

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