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NZ property values extend annual gain in April, QV says

Thursday 10th May 2012

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The pace of annual gains in the value of houses crept higher in April amid strong sales activity over the past few months, according to government valuer Quotable Value.

National property values are 3.1 percent higher than a year ago as at April 30, up from 3 percent at the end of March, and are now 2.9 percent off the market peak in 2007, QV said.

Values rose 0.4 percent over a rolling three-month period, down from 0.5 percent in the three months ended March 31. "Some of the increase in activity has been due to an increase in confidence amongst home buyers, releasing some of the pent-up demand caused by several years of lower than usual sales activity," QV valuer Glenda Whitehead said in a statement.

"Sales activity will slow down a little over winter, but the increased confidence in the property market is likely to carry through into spring." New Zealand's property market has been on the up this year after stalling through 2011 when potential buyers shied away from taking on too much debt to fund a purchase and sellers were unwilling to accept losses from a cheaper price.

Whitehead said Auckland's property market is mixed, with buyers' financial position a "key driver for whether prices in suburbs are rising or remaining stable." Values in Auckland rose 0.6 percent in the three months ended April 30, with an average sale price of $523,518.

Values are up 5 percent on an annual basis. Wellington property values fell 0.6 percent in the three month period with an average sale price of $443,070. Values rose 0.6 percent over the year.

The average sale price in Christchurch was $382,907 over the three-month period, and values are up 4.8 percent on the year. Dunedin property values fell 1 percent in the quarter at an average sale price at $265,099. Values have gained an annual 2.7 percent.

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