While New Zealand house prices are no longer increasing at the skyrocketing rates of recent years, values are still on the rise, particularly in the regions, a new report has found.
Nationally, prices rose 7.3 percent over the past year, Quotable Value found in its latest report, released on Thursday.
And while this was "subdued compared to recent years", it was still the fastest growth in nine months, QV spokeswoman Andrea Rush says.
- House prices cool in February - Trade Me
- Average couple needs to save for 16 years for a deposit on an Auckland home
- Average house values up 6.6 percent in 2017 - QV
It was led among major centres by Dunedin where prices increased 9.4 percent and in the regions by East Coast town Opotiki with growth of 16.1 percent in the first quarter of the year.
"It's the regions that continue to see the highest value growth driven by demand from people looking for more affordable homes or investment properties outside of the main centres," Ms Rush said.
- Grant Robertson wants house prices to keep rising
- Flat house prices prove there's no crisis - National
Prices in Auckland and Christchurch, meanwhile, moved little over the past year.
"Annual value growth across the Auckland Region has slowed from 12.3 percent in March 2017 to just 1.0 percent in March 2018 and Christchurch is down 0.6 percent over the past year," Ms Rush said.
In the Wellington region growth slowed from 21.2 percent in March 2017 to 8.2 percent this March.
"First-home buyers appear to be capitalising on subdued investor activity and some are finding they can purchase more easily without the same level of competition from multiple property owners if they are not already priced out of the market," Ms Rush told Stuff.
Lending to first-home buyers in February was $727 million, up from $591 million a year earlier.
Top 10 yearly price increases
- Napier - $497,562, up 17.6 percent compared to last March
- Hastings - $457,145, up 14.7 percent
- Invercargill - $261,762, up 10.4 percent
- Whangarei - $517,302, up 9.6 percent
- Dunedin - $398,120, up 9.4 percent
- Palmerston North - $383,671, up 9 percent
- Nelson - $566,052, up 8.4 percent
- Wellington - $644,567, up 8.2 percent
- Queenstown - $1,120,905, up 7.5 percent
- Rotorua - $419,556, up 7.1 percent
NZN / Newshub.