New figures bring hope to Auckland house buyers

  • 13/01/2016
House for sale

By Paul McBeth

New Zealand property values rose 14 percent in 2015, with the annual pace slowing from a peak in November, as regulatory curbs imposed by the Government and central bank took the steam out of the Auckland market, according to state-owned valuer Quotable Value.

The average value of a New Zealand home rose to $558,146 in December from $488,674 a year earlier, accelerating from the 4.9 percent increase in 2014, QV said.

Values rose 2.9 percent in the three months through December, slowing from the 4 percent pace in the three months through November.

Property values have been underpinned by a hot Auckland market in recent years, where rapid inbound migration and a shortage of supply has pushed up prices.

"With various Government and Reserve Bank restrictions now beginning to take effect, and foreign buyers apparently much less active, our expectations are that Auckland values will drop a few percent over the next few months," CoreLogic research director Jonno Ingerson said in a statement.

"While Auckland may take a breather, the surrounding areas are likely to rise, driven both by local demand and by Aucklanders choosing to live in affordable locations."

Massey University research on Tuesday showed New Zealand housing affordability improved in the final three months of 2015, helped in part by stalling Auckland prices, though low interest rates were seen as potentially bidding up prices.

The QV data show Auckland region values rose 4.1 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31, for an annual gain of 22.5 percent. At an average value of $933,264, Auckland values are almost 71 percent above the previous 2007 peak.

Values in Hamilton rose 20 percent in 2015, while Tauranga was up 18 percent.

Wellington region values rose 5.1 percent in 2015, Christchurch city values increased 2.6 percent, and Dunedin values were up 5.7 percent in the year.