Auckland property values flat as regions play catch-up

The price of an average home is continuing to rise according to the latest QV figures, but for once it's Auckland lagging behind.

Values in the city have fallen on average 0.5 percent in the last 12 months, stabilising at just over $1 million - double what they were 10 years ago.

The national average is up to $664,485, 60 percent above the pre-financial crisis peak in 2007. Recent gains have been driven by the regions - particularly Hawke's Bay, Nelson, Palmerston North and Queenstown, which all saw double-digit growth in 2017.

But dreams of quick capital gains in the country's biggest city appear to be fizzing out. The former Waitakere and Manukau council areas saw values drop 2.9 and 1.6 percent respectively.

"An oversupply in some areas of Manukau is continuing to cause a decrease in prices, particularly in large new subdivisions, which are above the median house," said QV Auckland senior consultant James Steele.

November's figures from QV.
November's figures from QV. Photo credit: QV/supplied

But there are parts of Auckland which don't seem to have been hit by the Reserve Bank's soon-to-be-eased restrictions on lending.

"Not everywhere is going down. Quite a lot of places are still going up," QV spokeswoman Andrea Rush told The AM Show on Thursday morning.

"A lot of those are those central suburbs that are already very expensive. Auckland city east is up more than 3 percent year-on-year and around 1.5 percent over the past three months. The average there is now $1.5 million plus... Epsom, Newmarket, that kind of area."

Values there increased 3.3 percent, to $1.57 million.

The year-on-year drop across the city however obscures a recent uptick - only looking at the past three months, values in Waitakere are up 0.6 percent, and 0.9 percent in Manukau.

By February or March, Ms Rush says the Reserve Bank's easing of loan-to-value restrictions on both owner-occupiers and investors will start to have an impact on values.

"Those two things have taken so many people out of the market over the past nine months probably. We're going to start seeing more sales, more activity as a few more people can get back in - but it's only a slight easing."

The regions - Hamilton

Growth in Hamilton eased to 0.1 percent in the last quarter, up 1.4 percent year-on-year to an average $544,050.

Hamilton. Photo credit: File

"The expected spring rally has not yet eventuated with slower listing and selling numbers it appears measures to slow investor activity are having the desired effect in the market," said QV Hamilton valuer Andrew Jaques.

"Hamilton, investors are gone completely from that market," said Ms Rush. "A lot of that growth had been driven by Auckland investors... they're completely out with the LVRs."


The average value in the city is now $687,310, up 42 percent in the last decade. There's been a 1 percent dip in recent months, but overall, they're up 3.3 percent since 2016.


After years of flat prices following the financial crisis, Wellington is continuing to play catch-up. Values across the region rose 9.8 percent in the year to November, to an average $621,289. In the city, values rose 9.7 percent, while Upper and Lower Hutt rose 14.1 and 13.5 percent respectively.

Wellington. Photo credit: Getty

Porirua saw values up 13 percent, and Kapiti Coast 16 percent.


While values in the quake-hit city are 30.2 percent higher than a decade ago, they're relatively flat - down 1.5 percent in the past 12 months, up 0.2 percent in the past quarter.

The average value is $493,899.

"The LVR restrictions and bank's stricter lending criteria have definably created a handbrake for investors," said QV Christchurch valuer Hamish Collins.

"There are more auctions being passed in and being listed either by negotiation or with asking prices and vendors are finding they have to adjust their price expectations to what they may have asked six months or a year ago."


Prices have rocketed in the past 12 months to an average $386,326, up 13.1 percent.

Dunedin. Photo credit: Getty

"There is traditionally a flurry of activity before Christmas in the Dunedin market as people look to get everything sorted before Christmas and this year is no exception, the market is currently seeing plenty of activity," said QV consultant Aidan Young.

Hawke's Bay

The biggest growth nationwide came in Napier and Hastings, up 17 and 17.6 percent respectively.

Values in Napier are now an average $478,059, and in Hastings, $441,307 - both about 41 percent higher than in 2007.


Southland values are up 7.8 percent in the past year; Nelson, up 13 percent; and Tasman, up 13.6 percent.

But some areas have seen their values drop, particularly in the rural areas around previously fast-growing Auckland. In Kaipara they're down 4.3 percent, in Hauraki down 3.9 percent, and Thames-Coromandel has seen values fall 2.9 percent.

State housing in Wellington.
State housing in Wellington. Photo credit: Getty

Some individual small towns have seen huge growth - Otorohanga values are up 23.7 percent, Kawerau up 21.6 and Rangitikei up 23.2. South Wairarapa registered 25 percent growth, and Mackenzie 24.5.

Homes in the West Coast district of Buller had the biggest drop in value, down 6.2 percent to $179,500. Prices there and in Waitomo, Opotiki, Gisborne, Ruapehu, Kaikoura and the Grey District are still below what they were in 2007.