NZ average house price falls for a second month
Dec. 5 – The average New Zealand house price fell 6.8% in November from a year earlier, the second monthly slide of that magnitude, as the weakened economy sapped people’s appetite to take on mortgage debt.
Banks have tightened their lending criteria in the wake of the credit crisis and that may be reducing the benefits of lower borrowing costs, said Blue Hancock, a spokesman for QV Valuations. “While interest rates continue to fall, sharply tighter lending criteria may be dampening any immediate impact on the property market,” he said.
The average New Zealand sale price fell to NZ$375,408 last month, from NZ$379,290 in October, QV Valuations said in a statement. House values are now at about their March 2007 levels. Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard yesterday cut the official cash rate 150 basis points to 5%, prompting trading banks to reduce their floating and short-term fixed rate mortgages.
Property values in the Auckland region fell 7.4%, with an average sale price of NZ$494,136. In Hamilton, property values fell 8.5% and the average price eased back to NZ$345,785. Tauranga values fell 8.4% and the average sale price fell to NZ$430,464.
In Wellington, values fell by 6%, the smallest decline of any region. The average house price slipped to NZ$411,922. Christchurch property values declined 7.4% to NZ$355,828 and in Dunedin, the decline in value was 7.6% and the average price rose slightly to NZ$258,671.