Otago house values still rising

Otago house values continue to climb year-on-year but the quarterly value gains  reflect  a general easing around the country.

Queenstown’s $1.11 million values for January remain above the overall Auckland’s $1.05 million,  while the tourism mecca remains the least affordable region in the country.

Quotable Value showed national residential property values for January increased 6.4% over the past year and quarterly values rose  3.8%.

QV general manager David Nagel said  values in January continued to rise in many places around New Zealand, but  dropped in others.

"In general, activity has been slower in many places over the holiday season," he said in a statement.

QV Dunedin property consultant Aidan Young said the trend in the city was  a continuation of last year, with more market growth.

"The market has continued its positive growth, with impressive turnouts at open homes and relatively high sales prices," Mr Young said in a statement.

Dunedin values rose 9.3% during the past year from an average value of $359,055 in January 2017 to an average of $392,512 last month, while values also increased 2.6% during the past three months.

"I’d anticipate market activity to pick up as we emerge out of the holiday period and buyers settle into last year’s change of government and the banks’ easing their lending criteria," Mr Young said.

Dunedin’s first-home buyer market remained buoyant, due to the comparatively low entry level price,  while there was plenty of sales activity at the upper end; around $1 million, which reflected a good confidence in higher priced homes, he said.

"There’s currently significant demand for vacant land, so we’re continuing to see competitive prices for sections across the city."

The prevailing city market conditions were also causing rental prices to increase, which might be attributed to potential buyers being required to stay longer in rental properties until they could find or afford to enter the market, Mr Young said.

Mr Nagel said market activity nationally appeared to be rising after  the holiday season.  He also noted the easing of the Reserve Bank’s loan to value ratio  restrictions for both investors and home buyers this month, continued strong net migration, low interest rates and housing shortages.

"It’s likely we can expect moderate value growth to continue during February and March, which are annually the busiest months in the housing market," Mr Nagel said.

Growth in Queenstown Lakes  had been very strong over the past year, but quarterly, had dropped slightly to 2.2% over the past three months, he said.

Elsewhere in the South Island, regional centres including Grey, Waitaki, Clutha and Southland had notable value increases during the past quarter, in particular, Mackenzie,  up 10.3% over the past three months and 27.1% since January 2017.

simon.hartley@odt.co.nz

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