New Zealand house values drop for first time since 2020, CoreLogic says

Auckland housing.
CoreLogic's House Price Index was 0.8 percent down in April against a 0.7 percent gain in March. Photo credit: Getty Images

House values across New Zealand came down last month - another clear-cut sign the property market is cooling off.

CoreLogic's House Price Index was 0.8 percent down in April against a 0.7 percent gain in March - the first time it's dropped since August 2020. The national average house price dropped from $1.04 million to $1.035m.

"Affordability remains a key constraint on the market as increasing interest rates impact the number of eligible borrowers and the amount they can borrow," CoreLogic NZ head of research Nick Goodall said.

"As is the case across the country, the future of the labour market, both nationwide and locally, will be important in helping to determine 'where to next' for each of the markets."

According to CoreLogic, Auckland residential property prices declined by 1.6 percent while Wellington dropped by 1.5 percent. 

CoreLogic's figures come after realtor Barfoot & Thompson found median house prices were down 3.3 percent in the Super City. 

Goodall pointed to rising mortgage interest rates as one of the multiple contributors to the slowdown.

"The trajectory of the OCR (official cash rate) forecast is what is of most interest however and the forecast peak of more than 3 percent is no doubt tempering some would-be-buyers to hold off in the environment of a falling market alongside rising interest rates," he said.

"The slowdown/downturn appears to be entrenched but will likely play out in a gradual manner, as long as the labour market remains tight."

House prices climbed by 30 percent last year, partly driven by low-interest rates and deficient housing stock. 

But that supply was now catching up, with the past 12 months some of the busiest on record for new home consents, Statistics New Zealand has said.