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House price stability on way back

NZ Herald

The drop in house values slowed in the year to June, says QV Valuations, though its latest survey shows mixed opinions where the market will go over the coming months.

The country's houses lost 7.1 per cent of their value in QV's index, which is calculated over the last three months' market figures compared with the same period last year.

This follows an 8.1 per cent annual decline reported last month, which was an improvement on the drop of 9.2 per cent reported the previous month.

The national average house sale price has increased to $378,535 in June from $371,555 in May.

QV Valuations manager Glenda Whitehead said the sales volume was approaching more normal levels and the market was more stable.

A recent survey carried out by QV.co.nz showed an increasing number of people believed that the worst of the decline was over and that now was a good time to buy before the market picked up again.

A smaller group believed that worsening economic conditions would lead to further house price falls.

However, QV noted an increase in the number of people intending to buy in the next 12 months but fewer who intended to sell.

This could lead to shortages of properties for sale and more competition among buyers. Property values have risen in most of the main centres over the past three months.

In Auckland region, the annual decline has improved to -5.9 per cent from -7.6 per cent last month

The average sale price has increased from $483,397 to $489,444.

"We are seeing more activity in the medium price bracket in Auckland over $500,000 in suburbs such as Ellerslie and Mt Eden," said Ms Whitehead.

QV manager Richard Allen said it was the fourth month prices had recovered. But he was sticking to his view that the stabilisation was an aberration and vulnerable to lack of demand over winter.

Hamilton values improved to a 6.6 per cent fall compared with -7.5 per cent last month with the average sale price at $337,851.

Values in Tauranga improved to -8 per cent compared with -9.4 per cent last month.

Whangarei improved to -12.4 per cent (-12.8 per cent), Rotorua to -8.1 per cent (-9.5 per cent) and Gisborne to -13.4 per cent (-14 per cent).

Queenstown lakes improved to -7 per cent (-8.4 per cent).

Wellington improved to a 6.5 per cent fall (-7.4 per cent), Christchurch to -7.3 per cent (-8.1 per cent) and Dunedin to -4.5 per cent (-5.4 per cent).

Source: NZ Herald

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