New Zealand house prices fall at slower rate in April - CoreLogic

New Zealand house prices decreased at a slower rate in April, likely due to indications rising mortgage rates are close to their peak.

The CoreLogic house price index fell 0.6 percent last month following a 1.1 percent decline in March. National average home values stood at $928,656.

On a year-on-year basis, the national house price index fell 10.3 percent in April - following a 10.5 decrease in March.

According to CoreLogic chief property economist Kelvin Davidson, April's data suggested "a near-term floor for house prices, which would be consistent with some shifting trends in key drivers".

That's in line with a separate report by ANZ last week, which showed house prices were expected to drop 18 percent from their peak - down from earlier estimates of -22 percent. 

Some gains in monthly house price growth - albeit modest - were recorded in a few areas in April, the CoreLogic data showed. Whanganui (1 percent) led the pack and there were also gains in Napier (0.9 pct), Queenstown (0.8 pct), Hastings (0.7 pct) and Rotorua (0.3 pct).

However, prices fell by 1.2 percent in both Hamilton and Tauranga.

"It's still very early days in terms of the Cyclone Gabrielle recovery in Hawke's Bay and the impact that might eventually be seen in that area's property market," said Davidson. "But the rise in values in Napier and Hastings in April needs to be watched. Continued gains in the coming months could signal that the reduction in supply is boosting house prices as we saw in Christchurch post-quakes."

New Zealand house prices fall at slower rate in April - CoreLogic

The housing market has been suffering from Reserve Bank's aggressive interest rate hiking campaign to tame inflation.

But analysts were forecasting just one more official cash rate hike this month before the bank pauses its tightening cycle.

According to CoreLogic, average home values still remained about $200,000 higher than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Zealand house prices fall at slower rate in April - CoreLogic

CoreLogic house price index - national and main centres (month-on-month)

  • New Zealand - down 0.6 percent to $928,656
  • Auckland - down 0.5 percent to $1.31 million
  • Hamilton - down 1.2 percent to $806,675
  • Tauranga - down 1.2 percent to $1.05m
  • Wellington - down 0.1 percent to $901,992
  • Christchurch - down 0.2 percent to $734,335
  • Dunedin - down 0.1 percent to $620,391.