Average house values up 6.6 percent in 2017 - QV

House prices around the country in 2017 were a mixed bag, with sluggish growth in some regions being pinned on loan-to-value mortgage restrictions, tighter lending by banks and the general election, according to QV.

Nationally, the average residential property price grew 6.6 percent in the year to hit $669,565 in December, up from $627,905 12 months earlier, according to the property valuation company's latest House Price Index report.

That reflected disparate growth between regions, with Napier gaining 15.5 percent, Hastings up 14.9 percent and Wellington prices rising 9.4 percent.

Houses in the once overheated Auckland market gained only 0.4 percent.

QV said the slowdown began in 2016 with the introduction of loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions for investors, with gains falling to 3.9 percent - the lowest in five years - by last October.

"The frenzy in the market of the previous three years induced by high numbers of investors in the market subsided and we saw a return to more normal levels of activity in housing markets," spokesperson Andrea Rush said.

"High prices, constraints on finance caused by tightening in retail banks lending criteria and higher deposit requirements removed many buyers from the market and sales volumes plummeted."

2017 prices
Photo credit: QV

Nervousness over potential policy changes ahead of September's general election also caused a dramatic slow-down over winter, she said.

For the year ahead, QV said recent easing in LVRs would likely increase activity and market conditions meant values would hold for the most part.

But prices in investor-heavy areas too expensive for first-home buyers - such as in Auckland, Hamilton and surrounding areas - could continue to see prices drop back.

Average values around the country in 2017

  • Whangarei - up 9 percent to $499,205
  • Auckland - up 0.4 percent to $1,051,762
  • Tauranga - up 3.2 percent to $693,725
  • Hamilton - up 1.6 percent to $543,446
  • Rotorua - up 10 percent to $412,741
  • New Plymouth - up 6.2 percent to $436,669
  • Napier - up 15.1 percent to $477,959
  • Hastings - up 14.9 percent to $444,961
  • Palmerston North - up 8.7 percent to $375,217
  • Wellington region - up 9.4 percent to $628,450
  • Nelson - up 11.1 percent to $555,184
  • Christchurch - down 0.1 percent to $493,706
  • Queenstown Lakes - up 8.8 percent to $1,111,995
  • Dunedin - up 10.4 percent to $391,098
  • Invercargill - up 8.5 percent to $256,433