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NZ home values increase at slowest annual pace in 5 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016

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New Zealand residential property values increased at the slowest annual pace in five months in October, as tougher lending restrictions constrained Auckland growth.

The average value of a New Zealand home rose 13 percent to $622,309 in October from a year earlier, the weakest annual growth rate since May, according to state-owned valuer Quotable Value.

Growth in Auckland house values increased at a 14 percent annual pace in October, the slowest rate since March 2015, taking the average value for the Auckland region to $1.05 million. The rate of growth in Auckland peaked at 24.4 percent in November last year and has since slowed following the introduction of tighter loan-to-value lending restrictions by the Reserve Bank. However, Wellington house values continued to accelerate with values in the region gaining at a 21 percent annual rate to $558,886.

"Home values continue to rise faster in the Wellington region than the Auckland region, and the housing market in the capital appears largely unaffected by the new LVR restrictions, particularly at the more affordable end of the market in areas such as the Hutt Valley, Porirua and the Kapiti Coast," said QV spokesperson Andrea Rush.

Nationwide, sales volumes were down by about 12 percent on the same period last year and mortgage approval rates were also down, Rush said.

In other urban centres, Hamilton values jumped 25 percent to $537,388, Tauranga rose 27 percent to $651,725, Dunedin lifted 13 percent to $341,566, and Christchurch edged up 4.7 percent to $498,425.

Napier values gained 18 percent to $396,000, Hastings increased 16 percent to $366,083, and Nelson advanced 14 percent to $484,019.

In the North Island, all areas saw double-digit value growth over the past year. Values surged 49 percent to $151,957 in the Kawerau district, although QV noted the gain was off a low base. 

In the South Island, annual value growth in provincial centres was much lower, with most areas seeing single digit value growth, although some areas such as Queenstown Lakes district bucked the trend, with values soaring 30 percent, QV said. The only areas to see an annual decrease in values were the West Coast districts of Buller and Grey, the Hurunui district in North Canterbury and the south-western suburbs of Christchurch, the agency said.

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