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It was a disparate year for residential property values with a general trend of slowing in the rate of growth due to LVR speed limits, stricter retail bank lending criteria and uncertainty ahead of the election, along with periods of rapid value increases in some areas and decreasing values in others.
 
Overall the nationwide average shows residential property values increased 6.6% or $41,660 during 2017 from $627,905 in December 2016 to $669,565 in December 2017, according to the latest QV House Price Index statistics. The average national value increased 3.6% over the final three months of 2017. 
 
The full set of QV House Price Index statistics for all New Zealand can be found here.
 
Sales volumes were down on 2016 for every month during the year and between February and October they were in excess of 20% below 2016 levels before picking up in November when a post-election late spring surge saw them jump to just 10% lower than November 2016 levels.
 
QV National Spokesperson, Andrea Rush, “A slow-down in the rate of value growth in the housing market that began in the latter part of 2016 with the introduction of LVR speed limits requiring a 40% deposit by investors continued throughout 2017.”
 
“The frenzy in the market of the previous three years induced by high numbers of investors in the market subsided and we saw a return to more normal levels of activity in housing markets around the country.”
 
“By October nationwide annual value growth had slowed to 3.9%, the lowest rate of growth seen in five years and for the Auckland Region it slowed to - 0.6%, the slowest annual rate of growth seen there since March 2011.”
 
“High prices, constraints on finance caused by tightening in retail banks lending criteria and higher deposit requirements removed many buyers from the market and sales volumes plummeted.”
 
“Potential housing policy changes in the lead up to the election also caused uncertainty and people took a wait and see approach causing activity to slow dramatically over the winter quarter and this resulted in value decreases in many areas.”
 
“The usual annual spring surge was very slow to arrive and listing levels and market activity did not pick up until November and December and this can be seen in both sales volumes and value growth recovering in the last two months of the year.”
 
“The annual rate of value growth recovered to 6.4% in November and 6.6% in December and sales volumes for November lifted 21.0% higher than in October. This was partly due to buyers delaying purchasing until the election result was decided and may also have been in part due to some buyers racing to purchase before the new foreign buyers’ ban in December.”
 
“The slight easing in LVR restrictions by the Reserve Bank due this month is likely to help improve activity and demand in housing the market as we move through the summer months.”
 
“Low interest rates, relatively high net migration and lack of supply means market drivers remain and we are likely to see values hold for the most part during 2018 in the main centres but the trend of lower rates of growth is likely to continue."
 
"However, areas where investors were previously very active may continue to see values drop back where prices remain too high for first home buyers particularly in Auckland, Hamilton and surrounding districts.”
 
“Some regional areas may continue to see stronger value growth than the main centres during the year.”   
 
Main Centres
Of the main centres Porirua city, Napier, Hastings and Whanganui saw the greatest percentage growth during the year.
 
 
Auckland 
The average value across the wider Auckland region increased 0.4% or $4,583 from $1,047,179 at December 2016 to $1,051,762 at December 2017. Values rose 1.2% over the past three months.
 
Annual growth ticked up again across the Auckland region in the final quarter of 2017 with most areas seeing values rising again. The former Auckland City Council central suburbs saw values rise 2.2% in the year to December and 1.6% over the final quarter of the year with Auckland City - East continuing to rise above average for the region, up 3.6% year on year and 2.8% over the past three months, the average value there is now $1,575,133. Strong value growth also continues for Auckland City – Islands with the Waiheke Island market driving growth up 13.7% in the year to December and 6.6% over the final quarter of the year.
 
North Shore values also ticked up again rising 0.7% in year on year and 2.6% over the final three months of the year. Waitakere values also rose 1.0% over the final three months of 2017 although values were down 1.9% in the year since December 2016.
 
Meanwhile, values are also increasing again in both Rodney and Franklin and particularly in Papakura which rose 2.2% year on year and 2.6% over the final three months of the year. Manukau bucked the general trend as values there dropped 1.0% year on year and 0.3% over the past three months.
 
Hamilton
Values in Hamilton dropped slightly by 0.5% over the past three months but rose on average by 1.6% or $8,586 over the past year from an average of $534,860 in December 2016 to $543,446 in December 2017.
 
Tauranga
Tauranga home values increased 3.2% year on year or $21,528 from an average value of $672,197 in December 2016 to $693,725 in December 2017. After dipping in November, values in the city had begun rising again by December and values rose 1.0% in the final quarter of the year.
 
Meanwhile, the Western Bay of Plenty market has seen sustained growth throughout 2017 and rose 9.1% in the year to December or $52,185 from an average value of $571,520 in December 2016 to $623,705 in December 2017. Values rose 1.4% over the past three months.
 
Wellington
Values across the wider Wellington Region rose 9.4% or $ 54,040 over the past year from an average value of $574,410 in December 2016 to an average value of $628,450 in December 2017. Values across the region rose 3.6% over the last quarter of 2017.
 
Wellington City increased by 9.1% year on year and 3.3% over the past three months. The average value there is now $756,879. Wellington – North is up the most, increasing by 6.2% over the past three months alone and 11.2% in the year to December 2017.  Meanwhile values continue to rise strongly across Wellington’s regional centres. Upper Hutt is up 11.1% year on year and 2.6% over the past three months; while Lower Hutt rose 11.4% year on year and 1.0% over the past quarter; and Porirua rose 13.2% year on year and 3.7% over the past quarter. Finally, the Kapiti Coast is up 13.5% year on year and 3.8% over the past three months.
 
QV Wellington Senior Consultant, David Cornford said, “It was another year of relatively strong value growth throughout the Wellington region however year on year value growth slowed considerably during 2017 compared to 2016.”
 
“Value growth took a breather over the winter months and during the build up to the election however by mid spring market activity had started to pick up and value growth continued.”
 
“A shortage of stock, low interest rates and a relatively strong local economy continues to support a robust property market in the Wellington region.”
 
“First home buyers had a strong presence in the Wellington market throughout 2017.”
 
Christchurch 
Christchurch city values have remained stable, dropping slightly by 0.1% or $541 over the past year from an average value of $494,247 in December 2016 to $493,706 in December 2017. Values have increased slightly by 0.4% over the past quarter.
 
Meanwhile, growth remains strong across Canterbury’s regions. The Waimakariri District up 1.7% year on year and 1.5% over the past three months; while Selwyn values increased slightly 0.3% year on year and 0.7% over the past quarter.
 
QV Christchurch Property Consultant, Hamish Collins said, “It’s been slow and steady for the Christchurch housing market during 2017. We have seen less activity than in previous years as heat comes out of post-earthquake market and overall the market has normalised after the earthquakes”
 
“The high level of housing stock on the market has given purchasers’ more options and vendors are finding they need to adjust their expectations from a moving post-earthquake market to a slower environment.”
 
“First home buyers remain active in the market as do those purchasing “as is where is” properties with existing unrepaired earthquake damage.”
 
“Those in the investor market remain anxious about potential changes to regulations such as insulation, building warrant of fitness and taxes and investors have also been hamstrung by LVR and bank lending restrictions throughout the year.”
 
Dunedin
The recent trends continue as residential property values continue to rise across Dunedin. Values rose 10.4% or $36,965 over the past year from an average value of $354,133 in December 2016 to an average value of $391,098 in December 2017. Values increased 2.7% over the final three months of 2017.
 
Of particular interest is the strong growth of the Peninsular and Coastal part of Dunedin, which is up 5.6% over the past three months and 17.9% year on year, followed by the Southern area which increased 5.4% over the last three months of the year and 10.9% year on year.
 
QV Dunedin Property Consultant, Aidan Young said, “Demand for residential property in Dunedin has remained strong, from both the local and national buyers throughout 2017.”
 
“First home buyers have remained active throughout the year with the lower entry point of the Dunedin market aiding this situation.”
 
“The LVR restrictions had little effect on values, although it did see an easing in demand from investors due to the 40% deposit requirement.”
 
“Supply has been consistently low, with good quality properties being sold relatively quickly and vacant land has also been receiving good prices as demand for sections remains strong.”
 
“The upper end of the market has seen some slight shifts, indicating good confidence for higher priced homes.”
 
“The election appeared to slow activity, but we have not seen any material impacts yet.”
 
“Value growth has been moderate during 2017 and we can expect to see a similar positive outlook for the market in 2018, providing conditions remain.”
 
Nelson
Nelson residential property values continue to increase, rising 11.1% or $55,318 year on year from an average value of $499,866 in December 2016 to $555,184 in December 2017. Values rose 1.8% over the last three months of 2017.
 
Meanwhile, values in the Tasman District have also continued to rise, up 11.4% or $56,927 year on year from an average value of $499,082 in December 2016 to $556,009 in December 2017. They increased 3.0% over the last quarter of 2017.
 
QV Nelson Property Consultant Craig Russell said, “The Nelson/Tasman market experienced strong value growth over 2017 despite a slow winter period in the build up to the election.”
 
“The market here is considered to be more robust than other regions given the strong local economy and being a desirable place to live.”
 
“Low interest rates continue to fuel demand which has outpaced supply. This is particularly true for section sales with pent up demand driving up land values as new stages of developments are released to the market.”
 
“During 2017 we saw a surge in activity for high value properties being sold particularly around Ruby Bay/Tasman, Nelsons Port Hills, College area and Atawhai.”
 
“Listing numbers remained relatively stable in 2017 with a decrease occurring in winter which we consider a normal seasonal trend.”
 
“Sales volumes decreased in 2017 compared with the previous year as homeowners either chose to renovate over buying, or were simply priced out of the market.”
 
“Investor activity also eased during the year following the introduction of the 40% deposit requirement in late 2016.”
 
Hawkes Bay
Values continue to rise across the Hawkes Bay region. Napier values rose 15.1% or $62,770 year on year from an average value of $415,189 in December 2016 to an average value of $477,959. Values rose 2.6% over the past three months.  
 
The Hastings market also continues to rise up 14.9% or $57,828 year on year from an average value of $387,133 in December 2016 to an average value of $444,961 in December 2017. Values increased 3.0% over the last three months of the year.
 
Other Provincial centres
The growth in values across many central and lower North Island provincial areas continues. Values in regions including South Waikato, Opotiki, Rangitikei, Tararua and Carterton have increased particularly over the past three months. Meanwhile, provincial areas to the South and North of Auckland – including the Kaipara, Hauraki and Thames Coromandel District - continue to see values decrease despite the trend of market growth over the past few years.      
 
In the South Island regional centres, it’s a relatively stable outlook. Values across most areas are either flat or steadily increasing. The MacKenzie District continues to rise up 5.2% over the past three months and 24.7% year on year which is the highest annual rise in the country, while Southland and Invercargill are also continuing on an upward trend. Market growth remains strong in the Queenstown Lakes, as values increase 3.0% over the past three months with an average current value now much higher than the Auckland Region of $1,111,995.  
 
 
So the end of the year draws near! We’re starting to get a much clearer picture of where the property market is at, with a few months since Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters signed their coalition agreement.
 
And the latest month of data, courtesy of the QV House Price Index (HPI), shows many parts of the country have experienced a late spring lift in values. It’s far too early to be calling it a resurgence but it’s hard not to notice the mini ramp-up in average values when you chart it over time. 
 
In Auckland this equates to a 0.4% lift over the last three months, but looking just at November values actually increased 0.7%, perhaps making up for the sustained previous period of no growth.
 
The question has to be asked at this stage whether the change has anything to do with the recently released new Rating Valuations (RV) for the Super City but previous experience and a quick look under the hood of the Index tells us this is not the case - it is after all designed to be unaffected by this process.
 
Spring finally announced its presence in November - both in our weather and property market patterns: perhaps this correlation isn’t a coincidence! If we look at consumer activity of people actually asking for mortgages, December has also started strongly (outside Auckland at least) so it looks as if those people who were unsure about the market throughout September and October have decided that things aren’t too bad and have re-entered the market. 
 
This is most evident in Wellington, where recent activity is sitting at 12% above winter levels, while Hamilton is following slightly further back on +8% . At first glance, this looks like a decent increase for Hamilton, but Hamilton didn’t experience such frosty winter activity, so it’s actually had a head start.
 
In addition to the activity lift, Wellington has also seen a value increase of 2.6% over the last 3 months, as reported in the QV HPI.  Listings in the Capital region remain at a near all-time low, with volume levels 5% down year-on-year and 31% down on the same time two years ago. This dearth of listings has counteracted the drop in demand.
 
Similarly, the Otago region is suffering the same lack of available properties - 38% less than two years ago. Once again this has led to an uplift in values, with Dunedin in particular up 2.8% over the last 3 months.
 
Outside our main six centres it’s very much a mixed bag in terms of recent value change, with no real consistency witnessed. And for those areas where value growth has persisted (including Napier/Hastings, Horowhenua/Kapiti and Nelson/Tasman), one of the key questions is whether or not it’s justified and whether or not it will continue next year.
 
In answering that question, a useful sense check is to analyse whether new builds have kept pace with or maybe even outpaced population increases. In most cases the figures are relatively well aligned. 
 
Over the last six years, the increase in the number of properties in Napier and Hastings has matched the increase in population -  so overall growth seems relatively justified; however with the projected population increase now slowing,  the build rate should also start to slow, or a risk of oversupply applies. 
 
The same applies in Horowhenua/Kapiti and Nelson, but not so much in Tasman, where the number of properties have increased 9% compared to a population lift of just 6%. This could reflect an increase in holiday homes and/or the amount of people accepting the commute into Nelson for work, so I’m not suggesting panic stations for the Tasman region just yet!
 
It’s not exactly advanced economics to point out that you need a local economy to support growth in population and property values - otherwise, once the money and jobs dry up people might have to leave to find income, thus causing a property oversupply.  If you’re investing in such regions, make sure your research focus extends beyond property to wider demographics and local industries too. 
 
So… if you’re heading off on a summer holiday, you’ve now officially got some fodder when the conversation undoubtedly turns to buying that beachside property or moving to the regions for a vastly improved lifestyle. Enjoy your break and do keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter where we’ll keep sharing insights. 
 
- Nick Goodall, Head of Research - CoreLogic NZ
 
 

 

 
Nick Goodall, Head of Research – CoreLogic NZ
 
As the year draws to a close, we’ve got a good understanding on likely changes to the property market and certainly which buyer groups are under the new Government’s property spotlight. In short, property speculators and foreign buyers are the focus.
 
The Government has been clever in using the Overseas Investment Act to restrict foreign citizens buying existing property, but there’s no official measure of foreign buyer activity - so the actual potential impact of this is an unknown. We have heard however that foreign buyer activity has already diminished due to our banks not accepting foreign income to satisfy income criteria on mortgages, so my expectation is for pretty minimal overall impact. Maybe chalk this one up to a savvy, popular political move as opposed to one with major market impact.
 
So it’s the focus on property speculators that’s really interesting. This group will be targeted with a two-fold approach: tax changes and improvements to the rental market. 
 
Tax changes for property speculators: 
None of the tax policy changes are fully confirmed yet but I expect the Brightline test to get an extension from 2 years to 5 years. To quickly recap, that test ensures any profits made from an investment property sale within 2 years of purchase are taxed. The initial introduction didn’t have much impact and I’d expect any extension to have a similarly low level impact.
 
The other likely tax change is to remove investors’ ability to negatively gear their properties (that is, they can’t claim back taxes for rental losses).  Anecdotally we’re hearing this could have more of an impact than initially thought. Especially when you factor in that capital gains have significantly reduced lately, thus reducing the potential profitability of investment. Take away another source of ‘income’ and the financial benefits of owning investment property are reduced.
 
Policy changes to influence the rental market: 
Looking at the rental market now and rental properties are going to have to satisfy a minimum standard of insulation and heating in the not-too-distant future. This is via an amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 with the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill recently passing through Government. But it will take a while to come into force – starting in about 6 months, so it’s a longer term improvement. There will also likely be improvements to tenants’ rights (in the form of reducing the ability of landlords to increase rents to once a year and extending the notice period for eviction). 
 
Both these policy changes are minor tweaks, but when you add all this up there’s a lot to weigh on the mind of a potential property investor when assessing their options. My feeling is that this will mostly impact purchase decisions and not selling decisions. Some investors will definitely be up for tough decisions, and I’d anticipate overall demand to reduce, especially for the long term.  
 
Tracking those listing, that’s certainly the case so far with no major change in the type of people listing their property at the moment. The mix between owner occupiers and multiple property owners remains relatively consistent with the rest of 2017. Definitely one to watch though, the common hypothesis says that if we see a lift in experienced investors divesting from the market, then that could be a strong indicator the market is in for tougher times than we’d otherwise expect.
 
OCR, LVR and Housing Confidence: 
Rounding out the year’s events, the Reserve Bank left the Official Cash Rate (OCR) unchanged, as expected. We don’t expect to see any movement in the OCR until at least 2019. The Reserve Bank also recently announced a modest easing of the current LVR restrictions. From 1 January 2018, the LVR restrictions will require that: no more than 15 percent (currently 10 percent) of each bank’s new mortgage lending to owner occupiers can be at LVRs of more than 80 percent, and no more than 5 percent of each bank’s new mortgage lending to residential property investors can be at LVRs of more than 65 percent (currently 60 percent).
 
Interestingly, ASB’s Quarterly Housing Confidence Survey was released early November, reporting price expectations dropping to a 6-year low. Again this isn’t too much of a surprise given the recent slowdown in the market, contributed to by the Election & new Government uncertainty. What it does tell us is that potential buyers can remain cautious and less desperate with their purchases if they don’t believe prices are going to increase anytime soon, which will prolong the current flatness in the market.
 
So there you have it: tough purchasing decisions ahead for investors, the jury’s out on the overseas buyer situation, and no obvious change in who is actually selling their properties…yet.
 
This article was originally published on the Auckland Property Investors' Association blog
 
The latest monthly QV House Price Index shows nationwide residential property values for November increased 6.4% over the past year which is a much faster rate of increase than last month’s annual growth of 3.9%. Values rose by 3.6% over the past three months which is also much faster than last month when the market slowed to a quarterly growth of 0.9% and the nationwide average value is now $664,485 which is 60.4% above the previous market peak of late 2007. When adjusted for inflation the nationwide annual increase drops slightly to 4.4% and values are now 33.9% above the 2007 peak. 
 
Meanwhile, residential property value growth across the Auckland Region was down 0.5% year on year which is the slowest annual rate since March 2011 but values ticked up over the past quarter rising by 0.4%. The average value for the Auckland Region is slightly higher than last month at $1,045,741 and values are now on average 91.4% higher than the previous peak of 2007.  When adjusted for inflation values dropped 2.4% over the past year and are 59.7% above the 2007 peak.
 
QV National Spokesperson Andrea Rush said, “It appears the spring/summer upturn has finally arrived in the housing market.”
 
“Nationwide value growth has surged 3.6% over the past three months led by stronger growth in Wellington, Dunedin and many other regional centres around the country.”
 
“Meanwhile, Auckland and Christchurch values also ticked up slightly over the past three months bucking a downward trend seen over the past couple of months.”
 
“However, values in Hamilton and Tauranga ticked down slightly and some areas to the south and north of Auckland that have seen very strong growth in recent years also saw values drop significantly including the Kaipara and Hauraki Districts both down around 4.0% over the past quarter.”
 
“The easing in LVR restrictions in January and retail banks lending criteria is likely to help improve activity and demand in housing the market as we move through the summer months but it’s possible the usual slow-down over the Christmas period may mean we don’t see the full impact of this until February and March next year.” 
 
Auckland
The Auckland market remains relatively flat with values holding or rising slightly in some areas and dropping in others. The former Auckland City Council suburbs rose 1.6% year on year and 0.7% over the past three months with Auckland City East rising well above average for the region, up 3.3% year on year and 1.8% over the past three months, the average value there is now $1,570,354. Values dropped 1.0% for North Shore City in the year to November but rose 1.0% over the past three months; in a similar trend Waitakere values were down 2.9% in the year since November 2016 but ticked up by 0.6% over the past three months; Manukau was down 1.6% year on year and 0.9% over the past three months; values continues to rise in Franklin and Papakura; while Rodney values rose year on year but dropped back 1.1% over the past three months. 
 
QV Auckland Senior Consultant, James Steele said, “There’s been no significant change to the market dynamic since the change of government, values are holding in well located areas while they have dropped back in some areas further out of the city centre.”
 
“An oversupply in some areas of Manukau is continuing to cause a decrease in prices particularly in large new subdivisions which are above the median house price while in parts of Waitakere values have also dropped back some suburbs. 
However, other tightly held areas particularly in central Auckland are still doing well and seeing values still rising.”
 
“A lack of pressure on property owners to sell, particularly given low interest rates and solid rental levels, has meant that the large decrease in demand over the past year instigated by LVR restrictions, has meant prices have remained relatively flat.”
 
“Across the board we are still seeing a mixture of strong and weak sales where buyers can be more selective under more ‘normal’ market conditions and where a particular vendor has a strong desire to sell a buyer can usually be found, but perhaps at a discount to the market peak.”
 
“Some developers are seeing a gap in the market where they are able to pick up a property at a discount and ‘add value’ through resource consents, taking advantage of the favourable development opportunities presented by the unitary plan.”
 
“However finance can be an issue in completion of such developments and often they can be offloaded as a ‘ready to go’ project to a developer with the financial capacity to see it through.”
 
“Over the next year, if the availability of finance improves and market demand dictates we would expect to see a number of small-scale, high density infill developments come to the market as more consents are approved.”
 
Hamilton  
Hamilton City home values dropped slightly by 0.1% over the past three months but were 1.4% higher than in November 2016. Values in the city are now 50.5% higher than the previous peak of 2007. The average value in Hamilton is now $544,050.
 
QV Hamilton Registered Valuer, Andrew Jaques said, “The market we observed over the past two years has now subsided and a regular market is now evident.”
 
“The expected spring rally has not yet eventuated with slower listing and selling numbers it appears measures to slow investor activity are having the desired effect in the market.” 
 
“The Reserve Bank’s Loan to value restrictions of 40.0% for investors coupled with the big four Australian banks’ stricter lending criteria has led to a drop in the number of investment properties being purchased, the recent easing of this to 35.0% is unlikely to make much difference.”
 
“This has had a downstream effect of limited the number of new rental properties being available for rentals.” 
 
“Properties listed for sale by auction have increased on the last couple of months and competing offers have become more the norm.”
 
Tauranga
Tauranga home values increased 3.3% year on year but decreased 1.0% over the past three months. Values there are now 42.7% higher than the previous peak of 2007. The average value in the city is $687,310. The Western Bay of Plenty market continues to rise up 5.9% year on year and 2.1% over the past three months and the market is now 39.0% higher than the previous peak of 2007. The average value in the district is now $626,120
 
QV Tauranga Registered Valuer, David Hume said, “The trend of a more stabilized market continues in the sub $700,000 bracket, with many in the industry describing it as a more normalised market.
 
First home buyers are still finding it difficult to enter the market with, many saying the HomeStart grant introduced in July 2016 at $400,000 for existing properties and $450,000 for new being too low for the Tauranga region, with an average house price of $688,000. 
 
“There is still very strong demand in the Mount Maunganui area, with a 716 square metre vacant site at 98 Muricata selling recently for $1.65 million. The site previously sold in May 2015 for $1.15 million in what was already considered a hot market at the time.” 
 
“Investors will be welcoming the news of a decrease in the LVR restrictions to 35% effective from January 2018. Although still a long way from historic limits at 20% but better than expected, with many forecasting 40% for all of 2018.”
 
“The Western Bay of Plenty has seen more continued growth throughout 2018, with now a similar percentage increase as Tauranga from the previous peak in 2007.”
 
“Soaring Kiwifruit Orchard prices continue, with some prime established Gold orchards now achieving over $1,000,000 per hectare.”    
 
Wellington   
Values across the whole Wellington Region rose 9.8% in the year to November and 2.6% over the past quarter and values are now 36.3% higher than the previous peak of 2007 and the average value is now $621,289.. 
 
Wellington City increased by 9.7% year on year and 3.4% over the past three months and is the average value there is now $749,870. Wellington – North up the most, increasing by 5.3% over the past three months alone. 
 
Meanwhile values also continue to rise strongly in Upper Hutt up 14.1% year on year and 4.0% over the past three months; Lower Hutt rose 13.5% year on year and 1.6% over the past quarter; Porirua rose 13.0% year on year and 2.6% over the past quarter as is Kapiti Coast up 16.0% year on year and 3.9% over the past three months.
 
QV Wellington Senior Consultant, David Cornford said, “Listing numbers have increased over the past month providing buyers with a bit more choice however supply is still tight and a sellers’ market prevails”
 
“Strong prices are being achieved and we are still seeing value growth in the market however this is much more moderate compared to 2016” 
 
“Market activity has picked up over November however it remains subdued when compared to the same time last year”  
 
“A number of property investors we have spoken with are evaluating their property portfolio after the government’s announcements around minimum rental standards, negative gearing and improved tenants’ rights.”
 
“There is strong upwards pressure on rents throughout the region with demand out stripping supply for rental properties.” 
 
“Demand for new builds and vacant land remains strong, and first home buyers continue to be active in the market”
 
Christchurch 
Christchurch city values have decreased 1.5% year on year and but ticked up 0.2% over the past quarter and values in the city are now 30.2% higher than the previous peak of 2007. The average value is just shy of half a million dollars and is sitting at $493,899. However values are continuing to rise more strongly in the Waimakariri District up 2.3% year on year and 1.3% over the past three months; while Selwyn values were relatively flat rising 0.2% year on year and 0.1% over the past quarter.
 
QV Christchurch, Registered Valuer, Hamish Collins said, “First home buyers are still active in the market but the usual spring/summer upturn hasn’t arrived at usual levels this year.”
 
“The LVR restrictions and bank’s stricter lending criteria have definably created a handbrake for investors and many are now selling poorly performing properties in search of higher yielding ones in order to better meet banks internal serviceability criteria.”
 
“It appears many who were waiting for new government to be confirmed before entering the market are now waiting to see what new governments affect will be on property market.” 
 
“This appears to be causing some uncertainty in the market and some offers are falling over during due diligence.”
 
“There are more auctions being passed in and being listed either by negotiation or with asking prices and vendors are finding they have to adjust their price expectations to what they may have asked six months or a year ago.”
 
“However, the high end market is still seeing good activity with record land sales being achieved in Merivale and Fendalton and good quality homes in good areas are always in demand.” 
 
Dunedin
Dunedin residential property values are continuing to rise and have increased 13.1% in the year to November; 2.8% over the past three months and they are now 35.0% higher than the previous peak of 2007. The average value in the city is now $386,326. 
 
QV Dunedin Property Consultant, Aidan Young said, “The first home buyers’ market remains competitive with multi-offer scenarios still common but there are reports of some large variances in both offers and or conditions.”
 
“There is still strong demand for vacant land in Mosgiel as some of the larger developments near completion.”
 
“There is traditionally a flurry of activity before Christmas in the Dunedin market as people look to get everything sorted before Christmas and this year is no exception, the market is currently seeing plenty of activity.” 
 
Nelson
Nelson residential property values continued on their steady upward trending rising 13.0% year on year and 2.8% over the past three months and values are now 44.4% higher than the previous peak of 2007. The average value in the city is now $553,052.  Meanwhile values in the Tasman District have also continued to rise, up 13.6% year on year and 2.8% over the past three months. They are 37.8% higher than in the previous peak of 2007. The average value in the Tasman district is now $553,187. 
 
QV Nelson Registered Valuer Craig Russell said, “The residential market remains strong in Nelson and Tasman for modern or well-maintained properties, and they are selling quickly.”
 
“Properties that require tidying or updating tend to take longer to sell and vendors need to be realistic about pricing.”
 
“Listings have continued to increase bringing more properties on the market.”
 
“There appears to be some trading happening in the market with the on-selling of sections and newly built houses due to strong demand in those sectors.”
 
“We expect to see a busy first half of December as sales transactions are finalised before the Christmas holiday close down period.”
 
Hawkes Bay
Values continue to rise across the Hawkes Bay region. Napier values rose 17.0% year on year and 4.1% over the past three months. The average value in the city is now $478,059 and values are now 40.5% above the previous peak of 2007. The Hastings market also continues rise up 17.6% year on year and 3.6% over the past three months and the market is now 41.6% higher than 2007. The average value there is now $441,307. 
 
Provincial centres
In the North Island, some provincial areas that have seen very strong growth in recent years to the South and North of Auckland have now seen values drop back including the Kaipara District down 4.3% over the past three months; the Hauraki District down 3.9% over the past three months; and Thames Coromandel District down 2.9% over the same period. Meanwhile, values are rising in many lower North Island areas that haven’t seen much growth since the previous peak including Stratford, Rangitikei, Manuwatu and Palmerston North.
 
In the South Island regional centres, it’s also a mixed picture with some areas still rising and others seeing values flat or dropping. The Mackenzie District continues to see very strong growth with values in Tekapo now topping $800,000; values have also jumped 7.8% over the past three months in Southland and Invercargill is also up 4.6% over the same period. Meanwhile values are down over the past quarter in Ashburton, Kaikoura, Timaru, Clutha, and on the West Coast Districts of Buller, Grey and Westland. 
 
You can access the latest QV House Price Index here.