Property More Popular Than Ever

Property values keep rising, with gains beyond Auck, Chch
Monday February 11, 2013

New Zealand property values continued to rise in January, though those gains are extending beyond Auckland and Christchurch, where limited supply has led to inflated sale prices.

National property values rose 1.5 percent in the three months ended January 31 to $426,452 and are up 6.2 percent over the past year, according to state valuer Quotable Value. That is the same rolling three-monthly pace of growth from December, and up from the 5.7 percent annual increase.

Property values are now 2.6 percent above the last peak in late 2007.

The gains were not limited to Auckland and Christchurch, where an undersupply of housing has caused values to grow at a faster rate than the rest of the nation.

“Over the last month or two, values have also begun rising again in most other main cities and provincial centres,” QV research director Jonno Ingerson says in a statement. “While the rate of value increase is not as fast as Auckland and Canterbury, it does signal an increase in confidence across most of the country.”

The prospect of a ballooning housing market growing beyond the country’s two biggest centres will come under scrutiny from the Reserve Bank, which has voiced its discomfort at the level of house prices.

Governor Graeme Wheeler has been under increasing pressure to take the heat out of the property market through the use of macro-prudential tools such as loan-to-value ratios or increasing banks’ capital ratio requirements, which lobbyists claim would also take pressure off interest rates and the currency.

Mr Ingerson says property prices are set to stay under pressure, with rising sales volumes leading to a lack of available houses for sale.

Auckland property values rose 3 percent in the rolling three-month period and were up 10 percent on an annual basis, while Christchurch values rose a quarterly 2.4 percent an annual 7.1 percent.

Hamilton property values increased 1 percent in the three months ended January 31, and were up 3.7 percent on the year, while Tauranga values were flat on a rolling three-month basis, and down 1 percent from a year ago.

Wellington property values increased 0.6 percent in the three months and up 1.8 percent on the year, while Dunedin gained 1.1 percent in the rolling period for a 2.7 percent annual gain.

Link to article at NBR

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