House prices rise 8.1%

Property values are now up 7.5 per cent over the previous market peak of late 2007, new figures show.

The latest monthly property value index from Quotable Value shows residential property values nationwide increased in July once again.

Values increased 8.1 per cent over the past year, with an increase of 3.1 per cent over the past three months.

QV operations manager Kerry Stewart said although values continued to rise, they were still primarily driven by Auckland and Christchurch.

"Most of the rest of the main centres were also increasing but at a much slower rate. Many of the provincial towns had previously started to see some small gains, however values have dropped over the last month."

"While there was a normal slowdown in sales activity over winter, the decrease since May has been greater than that alone.

"This appears to be due a decrease in sales activity and a decrease in home loan approvals. The latter is due to many main banks already tightening their lending policy in anticipation of policy changes from the reserve bank," Mr Stewart said.

"Auckland values continue to rise across the region, albeit some areas are increasing at faster rates than others.

"Lack of supply continues to heavily influence the market, but other factors may be playing a role in the continual increases, including the low interest rates still prevalent, an increasing population as well as incentives for both investors and first home buyers in the form of capital gains and Kiwisaver schemes respectively."

Values across Auckland are still increasing, with strong increases over the past three months in old Auckland City, Waitakere and North Shore. Each saw a rise over 4 per cent, leading to a 4.1 per cent increase in Auckland region as a whole.

Mr Stewart said there was patchy growth across the city with central Auckland generally flat.

"Once you move out of the central area commute times for example become a deterrent. However, we are still seeing god money being paid for normally average listings due to the lack of stock."

Growth in Hamilton was still occurring, but had started to falter somewhat over the winter period.

Hamilton values were up 0.6 per cent over the last three months, and 3.8 per cent over the past year.

Values in the Wellington area were still showing small signs of growth - up 2.8 per cent on the same time last year and up 0.7 per cent in the last 3 months.

Christchurch values have also risen once again, although increases weren't quite as high as some of the areas in Auckland.

QV valuer Jonathon Dix said momentum in the market was continuing with sales being recorded in all sale sectors.

"We are seeing first home buyers trying to get into the market in the $500,000 and under bracket, especially before the changes to the bank's lending requirements come into play.

"A steady influx of rebuild workers is continuing to put pressure on the market with a notable increase in demand for adequate rentals. This is also seemingly pushing rent prices higher."

The provincial centres were patchy, however most were still up on last year.

Values in Whangerei, Taupo, Rotorua and Gisborne were all up, although no more than 2.6 per cent annually.


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