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Property values continue to decline

Media release
8th August 2008

Embargoed to 11.59pm Sunday, 10 August 2008
Property values continue to decline

QV's July statistics for the residential property market report a 2.2% decline in national property values over the past year (calculated over the three months ending July 2008 in comparison to the same period last year), down on the 0.1% growth reported in June. The average New Zealand sale price stayed steady at $393,370.

“Property values continue to fall across the country with almost all areas now showing values lower than they were 12 months ago. Of the main urban areas only Invercargill is showing any significant growth at 5.4%, but the trend is also slowing there.” said Blue Hancock of QV Valuations.

“The market is now well off it’s peak of late 2007, early 2008 with many sellers accepting the state of the market and dropping their expectations accordingly. As a result we are seeing an increase in activity in the market, although sales levels are still well below last year and long term averages” said Hancock. “The question has now changed from when will prices stop rising, to when can we expect to see them stabilise? This as always will be driven by market demand, and the age old factors of numbers of buyers versus numbers of sellers, and perceptions of when properties represent fair value.”

Across the Auckland area property values are 3.6% down compared to the same time last year, declining further from the -1.0% reported last month. Hamilton City’s values have slipped further to -5.4% and Tauranga to -2.6%. The Wellington area is now also showing declining values, falling from 1.1% reported last month to -1.2%. Christchurch has dropped further back to -2.1% and Dunedin to -6.8%.

Most of the main provincial centres are now showing property values less than the same time last year. Gisborne dropped sharply to -8.7% and has dropped spectacularly from the highs of last July and August where year on year values were increasing over 25%. Whangarei has declined -0.6%, Rotorua -0.4%, Napier -2.0%, Hastings -1.7%, New Plymouth -4.7%, Wanganui -1.3%, and Palmerston North -5.2%. Nelson dropped further to –2.7% and Queenstown Lakes to -3.1%. Invercargill shows year on year growth of 5.4% although this has dropped from a high of 36.4% last October and as recently as March year on year growth was at 21.9%. At the current rate of decline it will join the rest of the main centres with falling property values within a month or two.

ENDS

Auckland (Glenda Whitehead)
Property values in the Auckland region declined by 3.6% over the past year (calculated over the three months ending July 2008 in comparison to the same period last year), down further from the 1% decline recorded in June. The average sale price for the region increased to $513,331.

“The residential market within the Auckland region continues in the same vein as reported last month. The statistics indicate that market movement in all cities and districts continued to ease downward in comparison to last month. Rodney and Franklin Districts remain in positive territory at 1.5% and 2.6% year on year growth, with the remaining areas now showing values to be less than the same time last year: North Shore (-2%), Waitakere (-1.8%), Auckland City (-5.1%), Manukau
(-3.2%) and Papakura (-3.2%)” said Glenda Whitehead of QV Valuations.

“Across all areas, the properties that are selling continue to be those that are well presented and priced to meet the market. Anecdotally, it would seem that within traditional investor areas vendors are more willing to meet the market, whereas many other areas with higher levels of owner/occupiers continue to show resistance to what they consider excessive discounting of the asking price. Values, however, are now declining across many areas, but at a gradual rate, rather than a sharp drop” said Whitehead.

“We have had reports from agents that there is an increase in potential buyers in some areas. This is good news with actual sales volumes in recent months at very low levels. Caution prevails as living costs continue to impact on the purse. With the atrocious weather we have had in recent weeks it must only be hearty souls and those with a timely need that have attempted to view property through wind and rain” said Whitehead.


Hamilton (Richard Allen)
Property values in Hamilton declined by 5.4% over the past year (calculated over the three months ending July 2008 in comparison to the same period last year), down further from the 2.5% decline recorded in June. The average sale price for the city declined to $353,278.

“The fall in property values is a result of poor sales volume, relatively high interest rates and a general lack of confidence in the residential property market. The trend of declining property values that we have seen over the last couple of months continued with all areas of the city sliding further into negative territory” said Richard Allen of QV Valuations.

“The sharpest decline in property values is evident in the Central City/North West area which decreased from -3.0% in June to -6.8% in July, and the South West area which moved from -3.9% to -6.8%” said Mr Allen.

“Anecdotal evidence that suggests some properties are selling at reduced prices and that the residential property market is in general poor health has been reinforced by the movement in the average sale price. For the second consecutive month the average sales price has fallen, declining sharply from $364,441 in June to a twelve month low of $353,278 in July. At this stage expectations and the general feeling is that sale prices are likely to fall a little more before leveling out as we enter the spring months” said Mr Allen.


Tauranga (Shayne Donovan-Grammer)
Property values in Tauranga declined by 2.6% over the past year (calculated over the three months ending July 2008 in comparison to the same period last year), down from the 1.2% decline reported last month. The average sale price decreased to $433,605.

“Softening values have been perceived by people in the property industry for a while now, and the statistics now substantiate that. Home sellers have finally accepted that they no longer can achieve top dollar and if they want a sale they need to meet the market. They also realise that if they don’t accept what is on offer now there is a real possibility values could drop further. Having said that, both buyers and sellers need to get more composure by making rational decisions based on research and facts, not on listening to all the pessimism out there in the marketplace” said Shayne Donovan-Grammer of QV Valuations.

“There has been a drop off in interest from rental investors particularly those who buy for capital gain and not for rate of return” said Mr Donovan-Grammer. “When looking to buy, buyers should view property as a medium to long term investment rather than a quick win. They should also ask themselves whether they can afford to hold on to the property for a reasonable period and can sustain interest rate rises throughout the holding period” said Mr Donovan-Grammer.

“It may be a good time for first home buyers to start looking at entering the market if they have the resources to service their investment” said Mr Donovan-Grammer.


Wellington (Max Meyers)
Property values in the Wellington region decreased by 1.6% over the past year (calculated over the three months ending July 2008 in comparison to the same period last year), down from 1.1% growth reported last month. The average sale price for the region decreased to $451,869 from $456,035 in June.

“Most of the Wellington area is showing declining values now compared with the same period last year. The QV statistics show the Wellington region down -1.6% with the biggest decrease being in Upper Hutt at -3.3%. Kapiti remained the same, Porirua showed a 0.1% increase and the Eastern Suburbs showed a 0.5% increase. The important point to appreciate is these figures are clearly showing a strong and persistent declining trend for the whole of this year” said Max Meyers of QV Valuations.

“Sales in the city areas which underwent a council revaluation last year (Porirua, Upper Hutt, Hutt and Wellington) are now selling predominantly below the rateable values (RVs), to a greater extent than was evident last month. This confirms the declining trend with 75% of Porirua sales below the RV, 67% of the Upper Hutt sales, 64% of the Lower Hutt sales, and 67% of Wellington sales below the 2007 rateable values. We are also hearing of greater variations in individual cases, particularly with properties that are hard to sell” said Mr Meyers.

“Conditions indicate the market may fall further with a prolonged period of low sales, long selling times and limited finance. This is beginning to show up with an increasing number of mortgagee sales and much lower asking prices. We have heard of some Hutt Real Estate Agents reducing asking prices by 20% to achieve a sale” Mr Meyers said.

“Some properties are being hit particularly hard by the declining values. Those that have significant issues to deal with have become very difficult to sell as buyers have; choice, limited budgets, less time and are less prepared to take on the challenge. Dated properties, leaky homes, and properties with overgrown sections are noticeably affected. There is also some evidence to suggest that the residential areas more distant from the city are being affected more because the cost of travel is being felt more acutely” said Mr Meyers.

“As we close in on the year end the market normally has an increase in activity and we expect this occur to some extent this year, but we expect pricing to be even more competitive. This may provide good buying opportunities but significant price/value decline. After Christmas the seasonally higher level of demand and more sales can be expected and this is the time when the market could stabilise for a more settled period” said Mr Meyers.


Christchurch (Mark Dow )
Property values in Christchurch decreased by 2.1% over the last year (calculated over the three months ending July 2008 in comparison to the same period last year) down from 0.2% decline reported last month. The average sale price for the city decreased slightly to $365,398 for July, a decrease of $2,618 from June.

The downturn in the Christchurch residential property sector continues to deepen with prices still trending downwards. This pressure on property values is expected to continue for the rest of winter. The eastern suburbs and outlying semi-rural locations are suffering the greatest decline in property values, this month eastern suburbs were showing a reduction of 3.6% compared to the same period last year.

“While sales volumes remain low there appears to be some stabilising in the activity levels. We have noted that the expectations of many vendors’ are coming into line with the market. This change of position reflects a greater understanding and acceptance of the property market and the wider economy. There are a significant number of vendors who have mounting pressure on them to meet the market, as mortgage repayments on top of increased costs of living start to bite” said local QV manager Mark Dow.

“There are many examples of significant losses being realised currently. A modern home within a recent subdivision on the eastern side of the city recently sold for $592,000, it was purchased a year earlier for $685,000, meaning a loss of $93,000 for the owners. Another example in Riccarton saw a modern townhouse selling for $60,000 less than it did a year earlier. In most cases houses are selling for close to their prices of a year ago, but pressured sales are having a notable effect on selling price” said Mr Dow.


Dunedin (David Paterson)

Dunedin’s residential property values decreased by 6.8% over the past year (calculated over the three months ending July 2008 in comparison to the same period last year), down further from the 4.3% decline reported last month. The average sale price in Dunedin increased slightly to $273,801.

The rate of the decline in property value is greatest in the Central/Northern part of the city where values have decreased 8.5% year on year. In contrast, the Peninsular/Coastal areas decreased by 4.4% over the same period.

“Agents are reporting increased activity at open homes and sales are occurring where the vendor is motivated. It is clear that there are buyers around but they are looking for well priced properties and have the luxury of choice. There is a feeling that many of the properties currently listed are still overpriced for the current market conditions. Agents are also reporting more activity in the over $400,000 bracket which is seen as a positive trend in the market” said David Paterson of QV Valuations.

“One measure that is often quoted in the public arena is the relationship between the rating values and the sale prices. QV’s July figures show that 80% of the sales recorded in the current period are at or below the rating values set in July 2007” Mr Paterson said.

“In terms of the future outlook it is likely that we will see a continuation of the current trend over the next two to three months with a levelling off as the spring demand and the predicted lowering of the interest rates impacts on the market” said Mr Paterson.

QV RESIDENTIAL PRICE MOVEMENT REPORT - AS AT JULY 2008
/ / /
City/Region / July 2008 Property Value Growth % / June 2008 Property Value Growth % / July 2008 Average sale price
/ (Annual % Change) / (Annual % Change) /
Far North / 1.2 / 1.6 / 354,285
Whangarei / -0.6 / 1.1 / 347,627
Kaipara* / 4.2 / 5.3 / 320,632
Rodney / 1.5 / 4.1 / 544,973
- Hibiscus Coast / -1.2 / 0.9 / 525,425
- Rodney (North) / 5 / 7.7 / 576,713
North Shore (A) # / -2 / -0.4 / 580,806
- Coastal North Shore / -2.5 / -1.5 / 655,729
- North Shore Onewa / -2 / 0.3 / 451,627
- North Harbour / -0.3 / 1.5 / 634,640
Waitakere (A) # / -1.8 / 1.5 / 401,120
Auckland (A) # / -5.1 / -2.4 / 594,934
- Auckland City (Central) / -5.1 / -2.4 / 556,028
- Auckland City (East) / -6 / -2.7 / 738,353
- Auckland City (South) / -4.9 / -1.5 / 511,768
- Islands* / 1 / 4.9 / 698,733
Manukau (A) # / -3.2 / -0.4 / 441,430
- Manukau East / -4.7 / -1.9 / 540,808
- Manukau Central / -2.5 / 1.4 / 353,009
- Manukau North West / -0.9 / 1.3 / 406,661
Papakura (A) # / -3.2 / 0.6 / 326,370
Franklin / 2.6 / 3.2 / 393,071
Thames Coromandel / 2.9 / 3.3 / 518,647
Hauraki* / N/A / N/A / N/A
Waikato / 5 / N/A / 265,041
Matamata Piako / 1.3 / 2.2 / 303,159
Hamilton # / -5.4 / -2.5 / 353,278
- Hamilton North East / -4.1 / -1.6 / 427,847
- Central City/North West / -6.8 / -3 / 320,159
- Hamilton South East / -5.2 / -2.5 / 325,901
- Hamilton South West / -6.8 / -3.9 / 313,766
Waipa / -3.4 / -2.3 / 358,925
Otorohanga* / N/A / 11.3 / N/A
South Waikato / 5.9 / 8 / 147,664
Waitomo* / N/A / N/A / N/A
Taupo / -3.9 / -2.5 / 396,636
Western BOP* / -0.2 / 0.3 / 458,529
Tauranga # / -2.6 / -1.2 / 433,605
Rotorua / -0.4 / 1 / 274,018
Whakatane / -6.8 / -2.5 / 312,246
Kawerau* / -3.2 / 1.1 / 146,945
Opotiki* / -9.9 / -6.4 / 246,402
Gisborne / -8.7 / -3.2 / 244,538
Wairoa* / N/A / N/A / N/A
Hastings / -1.7 / -0.3 / 298,926
Napier # / -2 / 1 / 334,607
Central Hawkes Bay* / -3.5 / -3.4 / 214,333
New Plymouth / -4.7 / -3.8 / 332,976
Stratford* / 7.9 / 12.6 / 220,069
South Taranaki / -0.3 / -1.3 / 227,198
Ruapehu* / -2 / -6.2 / 159,806
Wanganui / -1.3 / 1 / 212,951
Rangitikei* / -1.1 / 4.4 / 168,250
Manawatu / -2.7 / 1.1 / 241,738
Palmerston North # / -5.2 / -1.5 / 293,778
Tararua / -4.6 / -0.2 / 157,678
Horowhenua / 1.1 / 4.9 / 220,032
Kapiti Coast / 0 / 0.4 / 377,766
Porirua (W) # / 0.1 / 2.1 / 420,619
Upper Hutt (W) # / -3.3 / 0.2 / 343,194
Hutt (W) # / -2.7 / 0.3 / 362,958
Wellington (W) # / -1.2 / 1.3 / 526,721
- Wellington City & Southern Suburbs / -2.2 / 1.4 / 512,268
- Eastern Suburbs / 0.5 / 1.3 / 614,291
- North Wellington / -0.6 / 1.8 / 461,229
- Western Suburbs / -1.3 / -0.3 / 594,775
Masterton / -0.4 / 4.1 / 270,575
Carterton* / -1.8 / 4.5 / 269,525
South Wairarapa* / 7.1 / 8.2 / 360,381
Tasman / 0.5 / 2.7 / 373,073
Nelson # / -2.7 / -0.1 / 351,669
Marlborough / -2.7 / -2.1 / 356,876
Kaikoura* / N/A / N/A / N/A
Buller* / -2.4 / 0.2 / 173,463
Grey* / 1.9 / 8 / 199,902
Westland* / 4.7 / 1 / 215,413
Hurunui* / 6.7 / 9.1 / 319,021
Waimakariri / -3.4 / -0.4 / 316,726
Christchurch # / -2.1 / -0.2 / 365,398
- East / -3.6 / -1.9 / 298,929
- Hills / -1.9 / 1.6 / 544,451
- Central City and North / -1.5 / 0.8 / 409,109
- Southwest / -0.6 / 0.9 / 332,105
- Banks Peninsula* / 3.6 / 5.9 / 454,651
Selwyn / 2.4 / 2.7 / 379,769
Ashburton / 3.4 / 6.4 / 276,405
Timaru / 1.1 / 4.6 / 257,109
MacKenzie* / 0.4 / 0.1 / 252,000
Waimate* / 3.1 / 6.2 / 189,452
Waitaki / 4.2 / 5.9 / 234,273
Central Otago / 0.8 / 2.7 / 360,326
Queenstown Lakes / -3.1 / -1.6 / 588,484
Dunedin # / -6.8 / -4.3 / 273,801
- Central/Northern City / -8.5 / -6.7 / 281,989
- Peninsular/Coastal Dunedin* / -4.4 / 0.2 / 258,415
- Southern City / -6.5 / -3.8 / 255,964
- Taieri / -5.3 / -3.4 / 290,252
Clutha / -3.7 / 1 / 159,174
Southland / 12.8 / 13.3 / 202,483
Gore / 3.3 / 7.2 / 160,802
Invercargill # / 5.4 / 9.9 / 220,308
/ / /
Total NZ / -2.2 / 0.1 / 393,370
/ / /
Auckland Area (A) / -3.6 / -1 / 513,331
Wellington Area (W) / -1.6 / 1.1 / 451,869
Main Urban Areas # / -3.1 / -0.6 / 434,264
/ / /
If a City or Region is shown in italics with an * this indicates the values for this area may not be statistically accurate as they are based on a low volume of sales

N/A - indicates that either there were too few sales to report a Property Value Growth % or that the data for this period was unavailable

The information included in the above table is calculated based on the sales data entered into QV's system for the previous 3 month period. For example, information for the period ending June will be calculated based on sales entered between April 1 and June 30.

Property Value Growth is the annual % change in residential property values, calculated using QV's House Price Index methodology. The residential sales entered into QV's system for the previous 3 month period are compared to the same period of the previous year to identify the annual percentage change in residential property values. Average sale prices are calculated based on residential sales entered into QV's system for the previous 3 month period.

See... July_08__RPM_Table.xls

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