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08-06-2011

Auckland and Wellington values a tale of two cities, QV

Landlords.co.nz

Property values have remained flat across the country in May while Auckland and Wellington trends contrast, according to the latest QV report for May.

"Nationwide property values have now remained steady for the past six months, after having declined in the six months prior to that. Values are now 1.6% lower than the same time last year, and 5.7% below the market peak of late 2007," said QV Valuations Glenda Whitehead.

She said that while values have remained static at a national level, there continues to be differences between regions, with Auckland and Wellington showing contrasting trends.

"Values in the Auckland area have moved within a narrow range since the beginning of 2009. In the past few months they have begun to edge upwards and are currently 1.2% above January, 0.3% above the same time last year and only 1.8% below the market peak of late 2007."

Values in Hamilton remain 3.5% below the same time last year, while in Tauranga values have levelled in recent months and are now 1.8% below last year.

In the capital values continue to decline slightly after rallying in late 2020 and early 2011, and are 3.6% below the same time last year.

In Dunedin values have been more or less stable since the start of the year and are now 2.5% below last year.

"Sales activity dropped away in late April coinciding with Easter and the school holidays, but recovered in recent weeks. Sales activity typically remains subdued through the winter months, but has fluctuated in recent years, and can follow confidence levels," Whitehead said.

"As has been the case for many months, there is a general lack of good quality well presented properties on the market. When these come up they tend to sell quickly and for good prices, whereas properties with perceived flaws are slow to sell or need to discount in order to attract a buyer. There is also evidence from across the country that first home buyers may be active in the market again, perhaps encouraged by lower interest rates and easing lending criteria."

Whitehead said the Christchurch market remains fragmented, with demand for properties in the north western suburns as well as outlying towns in the Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts.

Within the more damaged areas of Christchurch there has been very little sales activity leading QV not to calculate a May index for the area.

While unrelated to the QV index, and a less reliable measure of value change, the average New Zealand sales price over the last three months is $404,057, down slightly from the $405,310 repported last month.

QV also reported seeing considerable variability between provincial centres.

Whangarei (-5.5%), Gisborne (-5.2%), Wanganui (-5%) and Palmerston North (-4.2%) are all well below this time last year.

The gap is more moderate in Napier (-3.3%), New Plymouth (-3.4%) and Invercargill (-3.4%), while in Rotorua (-1.1%), Hastings (-1.4%), Nelson (-0.9%) and Queenstown Lakes (-0.8%) values are only slightly below last year.

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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