National property values up 1.7% in year to June - REINZ
By Rebecca Howard
July 10 (BusinessDesk) - National property values rose 1.7 percent in the year to June and would have been up 6.5 percent had Auckland been stripped out, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand's latest House Price Index shows.
The index rose to 2,753 last month, up 0.3 percent from May. Excluding Auckland, the monthly rise was 0.4 percent.
The annual increase of 1.7 percent contrasts with the 3.8 percent annual growth reported this time last year, REINZ noted.
Looking around the country, 11 out of 12 regions saw an annual increase in the index level. The only region not to experience an increase was Auckland, which posted an annual decrease of 3.5 percent to 2,784.
REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said that while Auckland fell on an annual basis, the region's index did lift 0.3 percent from April to May and 0.1 percent from May to June.
"While it’s too early to call this a trend, it is certainly the first signs of some renewed confidence returning to the market," she said.
Buyers may also be more confident now the government has taken a capital gains tax off the table and given interest rates are at record lows, she said.
REINZ opted to publish the HPI measure, which looks at total housing market activity as opposed to a median or average price, separately. Its remaining monthly data, including the median price, sales volumes and days to sell, will be published on Friday.
REINZ says the index draws on a series of metrics to adjust sale prices for house attributes - such as land area, floor area, and the number of bedrooms - which can influence them. It is intended to provide a single, more accurate measure as a median or average sale prices can be skewed by more activity at the high- or low-end of the market.
Southland reported the strongest property value growth, with a 20.2 percent annual increase to a record high of 3,049. This was followed by Manawatu-Wanganui with an annual growth rate of 18.3 percent to 3,089 and Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay with a 9.1 percent annual increase to 2,738. The capital city of Wellington posted a 6.5 percent lift to 2,707.