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House price growth continues to slow nationally as Auckland values fall

Wednesday 6th March 2019

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Growth in house prices nationally continues to slow and prices in parts of the Auckland region are actually falling, although there are still some hot spots.

In Kawerau, for example, house prices were up 28.5 percent in February on a year ago and Wairoa wasn’t too far behind with 27 percent annual growth, according to the latest Quotable Value data.

It says its national house price index rose 3 percent in the year ended February, continuing the slowdown from 6.5 percent annual pace a year ago.

The average house price nationwide is now $686,050 while the value of the average house in the Auckland region is down 0.9 percent to $1.04 million.

Although QV says the figures are for February, its index is based on settled house sales and are prepared on a three-month rolling average basis, so its data can include house sales that went unconditional as long ago as November or even earlier.

The Real Estate Institute’s monthly data, which records unconditional sale agreements in February and so is much more timely, will probably be released next week.

QV’s data shows the value of houses in Kawerau and Wairoa are significantly below the national average at $244,455 and $201,419 respectively and Wairoa is currently the cheapest town in the country.

Auckland’s eastern suburbs, including Parnell, Newmarket and Remuera, contain the country’s most expensive real estate with an average house price of $1.56 million, even though that’s down 0.6 percent from a year ago.

The largest falls within the Auckland region were on the North Shore, down 2 percent, with coastal North Shore property values down 3.1 percent.

“Our latest figures paint a bit of a mixed picture. On the one hand, we’ve got more affordable, smaller provincial towns who are still in their upward growth stage while the likes of Auckland are much further down their growth lifecycle and now seeing values flatten after a period of sustained growth,” says QV general manager David Nagel in a statement.

Satellite areas around the Auckland region are still showing above-average growth with prices in Whangarei up 6.1 percent from a year ago and Hamilton up 5.8 percent.

In Wellington city, values are up 7.9 percent to an average $824,029 from a year ago with pockets surrounding the capital growing at double-digit rates including Upper Hutt, up 13.9 percent and Palmerston North, up 14.2 percent.

In the South Island, Queenstown Lakes is the only region outside Auckland with million dollar average house prices and that market is still growing strongly with the average price up 8.1 percent on a year ago at $1.2 million.

In Christchurch, the average house price was up 0.1 percent to $495,089 while in Dunedin, the average house price was up 14.3 percent to $449,023 from a year earlier.

Nagel says Dunedin “continues to attract a broad range of first home buyers and investors due to its value for money.

“Interestingly, investors appear to remain fairly active. I’ll be closely watching how investor behaviour changes in the coming months as we gain more certainty around the government’s stance on the recommendations put forward by the Tax Working Group,” Nagel says.

(BusinessDesk)

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