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House prices up again in December

By Jenny Ruth

Monday 16th January 2006

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 Jenny Ruth
House price inflation accelerated again in December, continuing to confound expectations the housing market is poised to slow, according to the latest Quotable Value figures.

Average annual growth in house prices nationally was 15.8% to $315,249 in December, up from 15% in November and 14.5% in October.

While the October figure dipped slightly from the 14.9% annual growth recorded in September, house price growth has otherwise been accelerating each month since the 12.1% annual growth recorded in March last year.

QV spokeswoman Genda Whitehead says December's annual growth was the highest for 2005.

"We are still seeing increasing levels of growth in property values across most areas of the country, particularly in regional areas which continue to offer affordable housing and investment options," Whitehead says.

Price growth is also accelerating in the main urban centres with the average price was up 13% in December compared with December last year, up from the 11.9% annual growth recorded in November.

Among provincial cities, Whangarei's average annual growth was31.4%, Rotorua's was 29.3% and Gisborne's was 26.8%.

At the other end of the spectrum, previous hotspots which had been showing actual falls in annual prices are now showing growth again. In particular, Nelson's average house price in December was up 4.9% on a year earlier compared with the 3.9% annual growth shown in November.

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