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Prices up but value growth ‘very modest,' says QV

Nationwide values are up 1.1% over the past three months, 2.9% up over the past year and are now 2.9% below the previous market peak of late 2007.

QV research director Jonno Ingerson said however that the increases need to be viewed in light of past price rises.

"Although national values have increased 2.9% over the past year this needs to be compared to previous periods of value growth," he said.

"During 1993 to 1997 values increased between 8% and 14% per year. Then in the 2002 to 2007 boom values generally increased by 10% to 15% per year, and increased by a staggering 25% during 2003 alone.

"In comparison the current rate of value increase is very modest and in inflation adjusted terms is only just above level."

Ingerson said the market had seen an increase in activity over the last month which is typical for the time of year, but while higher than the past few years activity still remains below long term averages.

"There is still a shortage of properties for sale in some areas, and in general buyers are acting cautiously and carefully."

QV data revealed Auckland remains the fastest growing of the main centres, up 1.7% in the past three months and 4.8% up on last year, with values now 2.3% above the last market peak.

The Auckland market increases are being led by the old Auckland City, where values are up 6.5% over the year to 5.1% above the market peak of 2007.

"There appears to be strong demand in the central areas of old Auckland City such as Ponsonby, Grey Lynn and Sandringham. Healthy sales prices are being achieved, with good properties coming to the market. Some buyers are staying cautious and sticking to their upper limit whereas others seem to have few financial constraints and as a result auction prices are setting new levels" said QV Valuer Glenda Whitehead.

"Buyers in the North Shore are being driven by location, as opposed to price, with activity patchy. Some suburbs are experiencing good turnover of properties whilst others are quite stagnant. The number of private sales is also noticeable."

"In the West more renovations are noticeable, with people wanting to upgrade or extend their homes to meet their needs as opposed to incurring buying and selling costs. In comparison, the market in the Manukau area is active around the $500,000 - $800,000 range, even up to $1 million. Houses in the typically desirable areas such as old Howick properties with sea views, and houses in sought after school zones are experiencing good sales," she said.

In the capital values have remained at the same level as a year ago after dropping 2% for the first six months, then steadily rising for the last six months.

"Across Wellington, prices seem to be firming and more listings are coming to the market. Buyers are still being cautious, especially with the public sector restructuring and its effect on job security in the region" said QV Valuer Pieter Geill.

Values in Hamilton remain relatively stable, rising 0.9% over the past year, but are currently 11.1% below the 2007 peak.

"The number of sales appears to be the highest for five years, with homes in the mid to upper bracket appearing to be selling well especially. This renewed interest however, is not stimulating prices with values remaining consistently static" said QV Valuer Richard Allen.

Tauranga values have also remained relatively static, up 1% over the past year but remaining 11.3% below the 2007 peak.

QV Valuer Shayne Donovan-Grammer said, "Many homes, particularly in the better regarded suburbs, are slightly overpriced in this market. Buyers are still looking to pay a sharp price, which is reflected in the fact that realistically priced well presented homes in the low to mid value range are selling at a good rate."

Apart from Auckland City values in Christchurch have grown faster over the past year than any of the other main centres, rising 4% and are now level with the 2007 market peak.

Waimakariri District has increased 12% over the past year and Selwyn District 10.8%. Both areas are by far the fastest increasing parts of the country. They are also the highest about the 2007 market peak at 6.5% and 5.9% respectively.

QV Valuer Richard Kolff said, "Rents continue to rise with high demand placed on rental properties from people whose homes were uninhabitable due to earthquake damage, people who need to relocate whilst they carry out repairs, or from those who are moving to the city to help with the rebuild. This is making property investors look at what potential some properties now have."

Dunedin values are 2.3% above the same time last year, although the growth of 4% over the past six months is even faster than Auckland City.

"The lower end of the market is still seeing reasonable demand with purchasers now prepared to take on more risk with lower priced houses. This is in contrast to six months ago when most of the demand was for well presented dwellings with no deferred maintenance issues" said QV Valuer Tim Gibson.

Values in most of the provincial centres have stayed relatively stable for the past three months, with the exception of Gisborne (-3.5%) and Wanganui (-2.0%). Over the past year values are within 2% of last year's value in all centres apart from Napier (-2.2%), Wanganui (-5.2%) and Queenstown Lakes ( 2.7%).

Tags: tim gibson - jonno ingerson - glenda whitehead - pieter geill - shayne donovan-grammer - richard kolff


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