Annual Nationwide Home Value Growth Slips Below 5.0% For the First Time in Five Years
The latest monthly New Zealand QV House Price Index shows nationwide residential property values for August increased 4.8% over the past year which is the slowest annual rate since August 2012. Values rose by 1.2% over the past three months and the nationwide average value is now $641,648 which is 54.9% above the previous market peak of late 2007. When adjusted for inflation the nationwide annual increase drops slightly to 3.0% and values are now 29.3% above the 2007 peak.
Residential property values across the Auckland Region increased 2.8% year on year which is the slowest annual rate of growth since October 2011. Values dropped by 0.2% over the past three months. The average value for the Auckland Region is now $1,041,957 and values are now on average 90.7% higher than the previous peak of 2007. When adjusted for inflation values rose 1.0% over the past year and are 59.1% above the 2007 peak.
QV National Spokesperson Andrea Rush said, “Quarterly value growth has dropped across the Auckland and Wellington Regions, but values rose in most other parts of the North Island including Hamilton and Tauranga.”
“Value growth is particularly strong in the Hawkes Bay, South Wairarapa and Masterton markets which continue to benefit from those moving out of Auckland and Wellington looking for more affordable housing and better lifestyle.”
“Values are flat or decreasing in most parts of Christchurch, while Dunedin value growth has slowed to 0.5% over the past quarter.”
“A lack of listings over winter, LVR restrictions and stricter lending criteria by retails banks have led to a 30% drop in market activity and sales volumes compared to the same time last year.”
“General elections also traditionally compound any annual winter slow-down in the housing market due to uncertainty caused by potential policy changes so it’s likely this is also a factor in the subdued sales activity.”
“In Auckland new sub-divisions previously popular with speculators including those from China have also recently seen lower demand and discounted sales prices.”
“It’s possible the crack-down by the Chinese Government on the amount of capital allowed to leave the country may be a factor as it’s now much harder for new migrants or foreign buyers from China to get their cash out to purchase property.”
“It’s likely the annual spring upturn in the market may be slower to arrive given the pending election but with the underlying drivers of a lack of supply and high net migration particularly in Auckland still remaining, it’s possible that values may begin to rise again more steadily in the new year.”
Values have dropped in some parts of Auckland over the past three months including Rodney North down 3.2%, Papakura down 2.5%; Franklin down 2.2%; Waitakere City down 1.1% and parts of Manukau and the North Shore. However, values rose in other parts of the city including Auckland central suburbs and also Waiheke Island which saw the highest rate of growth up 3.9% over the past three months.
QV Auckland Registered Valuer, James Steele said, “Strong sales for well-maintained homes in good locations are still being achieved. However, sales prices have dropped in some other areas compared to what was being achieved during 2016, particularly in outer suburbs.”
“Lower demand for new builds in larger subdivisions in areas such as Flat Bush and Albany has seen asking prices discounted particularly in areas where speculators were previously active.”
“In the first home buyer market, homes under $750K are in high demand and buyers appear not so concerned with the location of the property as long as it’s in their price range.”
“However, many first home buyers are still finding it challenging to get finance with many deals still falling over due to a buyers not being able to get finance approved.”
“There are also reports of vendors having to be more accommodating and flexible with their terms and conditions for buyers in order for sales to go through with some offering longer settlement periods or rent to buy options.”
“Movers are also being affected by difficulties getting finance in particular with banks being more hesitant in providing finance for renovations or bridging requirements.”
Hamilton City home values rose 1.4% over the past three months and 5.0% over the past year. Values are now 50.6% higher than the previous peak of 2007. The average value in the Hamilton is now $544,469.
QV Hamilton Valuer, Stephen Hare said, “‘The Hamilton City market has remained relatively subdued over the past month with listings staying on the market for a longer period of time, fewer properties going at auction and we are now starting to see some properties sell for under the listing price, indicating less demand and more opportunities to negotiate.”
“We are also starting to see a dip in sales prices for mid to high priced property mainly around the Flagstaff area.”
“However, there’s still evidence that desirable and well-presented homes are continuing to sell above asking prices.”
“The market continues to be void of investment buyers, which is freeing up space for first home buyers who were previously struggling to compete with investors. This is resulting in a good supply of low to mid-range price bracket properties on the market.”
“In nearby regional centres there’s appears to be less demand from Aucklanders looking to purchase in Thames and Pokeno is becoming more established with buyers now able to purchase existing new builds that are being on sold, rather than just home and land packages.”
“Lower demand coupled with banks’ stricter lending criteria is resulting in Pokeno building companies having to sell homes for lower prices than they were achieving this time last year which is making it easier for first home buyers to purchase there.”
Tauranga home values increased at a faster rate than Auckland, up 9.6% year on year and 1.7% over the past three months. Values there are now 44.2% higher than the previous peak of 2007.
The average value in the city is nearing $700,000 and is sitting at $694,361. Western Bay of Plenty increased by 9.9% year on year and 1.8% over the past three months and the market is now 36.1% higher than the previous peak of 2007. The average value in the district is now $613,073.
QV Tauranga, Registered Valuer, David Hume said, “The market in Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty is currently stable, with the panic buying of 2015/16 now having given way to a more subdued approach from buyers.”
“Investors are definitely much less active in the market than they were during the previous two years and we are also in a traditionally flat period in the market, at the end of winter with an upcoming general election.”
“The home building industry is still very busy, although this is not expected to continue at the frantic levels experienced over the few years.”
The QV House Price Index shows values in the Wellington region increased by 12.9% over the past year but have dropped 0.4% over the past three months. Values in the wider region are now 32.9% higher than the previous peak of 2007.
QV Wellington Registered Valuer, David Cornford said, “The Wellington market has continued to be relatively quiet over August with sale volumes significantly down compared to the same time last year.”
“Buyers and sellers are taking a wait and see approach as the election nears and it becomes more uncertain who will be in Government at the end of September.”
“The spring months following are likely to bring an increase in market activity as greater certainty returns to the market.”
“Property values in Wellington City have largely flat lined over the last three months while Porirua and the Hutt Valley has seen only modest value growth.”
“A lack of homes for sale has resulted in strong competition for well-presented properties particularly in desirable locations and these are achieving good prices.”
“Overall, we are seeing a relatively stable market across the board in Wellington which is very under supplied.”
Christchurch City values continue to plateau rising just 0.1% year on year and they decreased slightly by 0.4% over the past three months. Values in the city are now 30.0% higher than the previous peak of 2007.
“This is because there is less demand in the market currently. And this coupled with the LVR and finance restrictions which are having a heavy impact on buyers’ ability to purchase continues to dampen market activity.”
“Spring is traditionally a good time to sell property so moving into the season it's possible that there may be increased activity, however this is unlikely to spur increased value growth.”
Dunedin residential property values continue to rise but at a slower rate than earlier in the year with quarterly growth having slowed to 0.5% over the winter months. Values rose by 12.6% in the year and are now 31.3% above the previous peak of 2007. The average value in the city is now $375,814.
QV Dunedin Registered Valuer, Aidan Young said, “The Dunedin market continues to see value growth although a low number of listings across the market is constraining sales somewhat and providing slim pickings for buyers.”
“For those properties on the market there is strong demand with multi-offer scenarios still common.”
“More buyers are getting valuations in order to be able to present the most attractive offer they can with less conditions.”
“There is also strong demand in the rental market with reports that three bedroom, modern, warm properties are being given preference and this may begin to drive rents higher in the city.”
Nelson residential property values rose 13.6% year on year but quarterly growth slowed to 1.9% over the past three months and values are now 40.5% higher than the previous peak of 2007. The average value in the city is now $538,136. Meanwhile values in the Tasman District have risen 16.1% year on year and 0.6% over the past three months and are 34.0% higher than in the previous peak of 2007. The average value in the district is now $538,256.
QV Nelson, Registered Valuer Craig Russell said, “Despite value growth easing over the past few months prices remain firm as strong underlying demand underpins values.”
“It is typical to see an increase in market activity as we come into spring. This may be delayed given the pending election which provides uncertainty for people making property decisions.”
“The recent announcement of new Special Housing Accord (SHA) areas for Nelson and Tasman will significantly increase land supply.”
“It remains to be seen what impact these SHA’s will have in the market and whether there is sufficient demand for such large scale developments.”
“The lower end of the market is still very active especially for properties up to $550,000.”
Values continue to rise strongly across the Hawkes Bay region. Napier values rose 18.8% year on year and 5.3% over the past three months. The average value in the city is now $459,393 and values are now 35.0% above the previous peak of 2007. The Hastings market also continues to see strong value growth rising 18.4% year on year and 2.9% over the past three months and the market is now 36.6% higher than 2007. The average value there is now $425,780. Values Central Hawkes Bay have jumped 7.8% over the past three months and 24.5% in the year since August 2016 as buyers look further out of the main centres for more affordable property.
QV homevalue Hawkes Bay, Registered Valuer Michelle Drinkrow said, “First home buyers and investors remain active in the residential market.”
“We are noticing that buyers are now taking a bit more time and doing their due diligence some are also accepting faults or issues that may have previously put them off a property as they have been searching for so long.”
“There is still a lack of listings available with many taking a wait and see approach in regards to the election and the colder months.”
“Reports are that there are still plenty of out of town buyers active with many buying higher valued properties and getting more bang for their buck compared to the larger centres.”
“House and land packages and spec homes are still popular with high demand for vacant land in general. Vacant lifestyle land on the fringe of the main centres is also in high demand with good sales levels being achieved.”
“Central Hawkes Bay remains a popular and affordable option for those that have missed out on property in the main centres as it’s within commuting distance and this makes it a viable option.”
Most areas of the North Island have seen values rise over the past three months with the exception of parts of the Wellington and Auckland regions. Values are now rising in many areas that have not seen strong growth for many years including East Coast areas including Gisborne and Wairoa as well as central North Island areas such as the Ruapehu District and Whanganui.
In the South Island, values continue to rise in many areas including the Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough Districts as well as in Clutha, Central Otago, Waitaki and the Queenstown Lakes District. However values decreased 5.5% over the past three months in Kaikoura following the earthquakes there and values were also down in Southland, Invercargill, the West Coast Districts of Grey and Westland, in Hurunui, Ashburton and many parts of Christchurch as well as on the Dunedin peninsula.
The QV House Price Index can be accessed here.