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House prices tick up in three months to October

House prices tick up in three months to October, Wellington stands out

By Rebecca Howard

Nov. 1 (BusinessDesk) - Growth in house prices ticked up modestly in the three months to October, with Wellington leading gains among the major centres.

The latest QV House Price Index shows nationwide residential property values have increased by 5.4 percent during the past year and were up 1 percent in the three months through October. The nationwide average value is now $681,802.

“As anticipated, value growth remains modest across many areas as affordability constraints put the brakes on after a period of sustained growth," QV general manager David Nagel said.

Values across the Wellington region, however, rose 10.2 percent in the year to October and increased 2.9 percent during the past quarter. The average value there is now $672,701.

“New listings have increased recently although the total numbers of listings are similar to this time last year. This low level of supply means values are either staying flat or increasing, particularly in Wellington and Porirua," said QV Wellington senior consultant David Cornford.

“The more affordable northern Wellington suburbs continue to be standout performers with 5.2 percent growth recorded over the last three months, which highlights the influence of first home buyers and investors in these areas. Multiple offers on those properties priced under $700,000 continue to be the norm, unless the property has limiting or detrimental features," he said.

“There also continues to be a shortage of rental accommodation in the Wellington region and a significant number of mature investors have offloaded their rental properties, capitalising on strong values seen over the last two years.”

Meanwhile, value growth remains slow across Auckland's suburbs. North Shore values rose 1.4 percent in the year to October, although they dropped 0.5 percent over the past three months. The average value there is now $1,217,762.

“There is certainly plenty of construction taking place, such as Housing New Zealand and private sector initiatives. We’re continuing to see plenty of apartment style developments underway, which is helped by the Unitary Plan that many developers are utilising," said QV Auckland property consultant Hugh Robson.

On the South Island, values in Christchurch city are either holding or dropping slightly. Values are slightly up year on year although they decreased by 0.3 percent during the past three months. The average value in the city is now $494,082.

“Christchurch is benefiting from being a relatively affordable city and there is excitement about the various construction projects on-the-go. The city continues to attract first home buyers," said QV Christchurch property consultant Hamish Collins.

Values in Dunedin meanwhile continue their upward trend having increased 10.5 percent in the year to October and 2.8 percent during the past three months. The average value in the city is $422,674.

"Buyer competition remains intense, particularly in the $300,000-400,000 price bracket where first home buyer activity is relatively high," said QV Dunedin property consultant Aidan Young.



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