LVR relaxation influence likely to be small

Loosening the loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions might help drive a busy property market in the early stages of 2019, QV general manager David Nagel says.

Market activity was expected to bounce back in the coming weeks as the peak holiday period ended and the easing of the LVR restrictions - which took effect from January 1 - enabled new buyers to enter the market.

However, Mr Nagel did not expect the impact of the easing of the restrictions to be ''overly significant''.

There were no dramatic changes to values over the past month, probably because of the holiday season.

The latest QV house price index showed nationwide residential property values had increased steadily over the past year by 3.2% and by 1.2% in the three months to December. The nationwide average value was now $682,938.

Residential property value growth across the Auckland region dropped by 0.4% year-on-year although values increased slightly (0.1%) over the past quarter. The average value for the Auckland region was now $1,048,145.

Values in Dunedin continued their upward trend, having increased 11.2% in the year to December and 3.5% over the past three months. The average value in the city was $434,093.

In South Island provincial centres, Southland, Invercargill and Gore regions led the way in quarterly growth, having value growth of 6.8%, 3.2% and 2.6% respectively.

Invercargill led the way in annual growth, up 11.6%, followed by Nelson and and Central Otago, both up 8.4%.

There was a lot of competition in the rental market, particularly in the Wellington area, while another point of interest was the continued growth on many smaller regional towns, particularly in the central and upper North Island, Mr Nagel said.

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