Property values remain flat

Residential property values remained relatively flat in parts of Otago last year, any increases well below the national average rise.

Quotable Value New Zealand's property value index showed property values in New Zealand increased 5.7% in 2012, largely driven by a more than 9% increase in Auckland and a more than 6% increase in Christchurch.

Outside those two centres, Dunedin was the city with the biggest increase, with a 2.9% rise. In the Queenstown-Lakes district, property values also ended the year up 2.9%, and Central Otago values increased 3.3%.

Property values decreased on average 2.3% in Clutha and 3.6% in Southland.

Quotable Value research director Jonno Ingerson said 2012 featured a flat start to the sales year, then growth around mid-year, before a faltering finish.

Property values in Auckland were constantly driven by internal and external migration, and were likely to continue in the same vein, while Christchurch property values were being driven by the post-earthquake demand for undamaged houses.

Sales picked up in most provincial centres compared with 2011, but were well below peak volumes in 2003-6, the major exceptions being Queenstown-Lakes and Nelson, where sales volumes were close to those past peak levels.

A defining feature of 2012 was the low number of properties on the market.

''Many willing buyers found it hard to find suitable properties and this to some extent constrained sales volumes. As has been the case for the past several years, quality properties in desirable areas tended to sell quickly for good prices, while properties with perceived flaws either sat on the market or needed to be discounted.''

For 2013, the trends looked set to stay largely the same.

Values in Christchurch and the surrounding areas were likely to keep growing as demand continued to outstrip supply.

The rest of the country looked to remain variable in response to local economic conditions, but in most areas values would remain relatively flat, he said.

Property changes
Average change in residential property values in 2012

• Waitaki +0.8%
• Central Otago +3.3%
• Queenstown Lakes +2.9%
• Dunedin +2.9%
• Central/northern city +1.7%
• Peninsula/coastal Dunedin +1.7%
• Southern city +4%
• Taieri +3.4%Clutha -2.3%
• Southland -3.6%
• Gore +1%
• Invercargill +2%

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