What's it Worth?

There are a number of ways to understand the value of your property ranging from free to a few hundred dollars. You can go it alone and compare properties with similar rating valuations and features in the area that have sold recently, you can get in touch with your local real estate agent for an appraisal, purchase an E-valuer or a Full Market Valuation or both. A combination of a few of these options can give you a good indication of what your property will likely sell for.

Any Renovations or Additions?

Two houses in the same location, of similar size and with the same reserve price, can sell for a big difference in value. It begs the question, how do you add the most value to a home, and what value do high specifications add in today’s property market?

It may be worth spending more on “high spec” features for homes at the high end of the market, but for more modest priced homes you have to be careful not to over-capitalise, or overspend on improvements that won’t increase the value of your home.

Whether or not “high specification” adds value differs between suburbs and value ranges because of the demographics of an area. Different buyers value different things.

Spending money on kitchens and bathrooms will usually add value to a home. But if you want to know whether to spend $10,000 or $30,000 on your bathroom makeover you need to consider the overall value and location of your home. On a higher priced property you are likely to add at least the value of a ‘high spec’ bathroom but at the lower end then you might be better to spend $10,000 instead. A modern kitchen that doesn’t break the bank will still add value to a home. But if you spend $40,000 on a kitchen in a modest home, you may not get the same value back.

Relaying carpet or replacing the roof won’t add value to your property, carpets are a chattel and roofs fall under repairs and maintenance. A roof is expected to be functional and do its job. You will lose money if leaks otherwise it is just a cost. You wouldn’t replace a roof unless it’s needed. As long as the roof of the dwelling is well maintained, functional and in reasonable condition the value will not be impacted by the roof.

Landscaping can add a significant amount of value a property. However it may not be a direct relationship between value spent and value added. The added value of well-presented landscaping is generally on the overall saleability of a home through increased street appeal/utility. It is a great way to get potential purchasers through your home on open homes.

In regards to how much should be spent on landscaping, again it depends on the overall value level and type of property. The market expectation of the level of landscaping in a high value suburb is significantly greater than that of a lower value suburb.

The nature of the property can also dictate the nature of the landscaping and site development utilised. For example if you own a high end character villa you ideally want to keep that timber picket fence out front rather than replace it with something more modern.

Property owners should consider the nature of their property and the wider neighbourhood before commencing any major landscaping works.

Another example of this could be replacing timber joinery in a villa/character bungalow with modern aluminium joinery as this does not enhance the character and detracts from the value.

Garaging is another element that is also very dependent on the locality of the property. In areas which have larger land sites and generally more space, a new garage may not add much in value. However, in inner city suburbs where land is at a premium and the lots are much smaller and off street parking is scarce, a garage could add a significant amount of value to your property.

If you have done significant work it might be worth investing in a Full Market Valuation to get an understanding of the worth of your property.

Valuation Options

Rating Valuation

  • only updated every three years for the purpose of your local council
  • established using a mass appraisal process
  • often used when buying and selling as an indicative price.


  • an instant, online estimate of the current market value for a property
  • based on recent, nearby comparable sales
  • often used for establishing the current value when making an offer or wanting to sell your property.

A Full Market Valuation is:

  • completed by a Registered Valuer
  • based upon a full inspection of your property as well as related sales in the area being analysed
  • typically used for a variety of reasons, including securing finance when buying

For more information visit Valuations and Reports

Understanding the Market

Deciding the right time to buy or sell doesn’t have to be a guessing game.  By getting to know the market as it stands, as well as the general trends that have long been established, your end goal, be it buying or selling, can hopefully be achieved within your required timeframe. 

Buyers’ vs sellers’ market

One thing to look at when you decide to enter into the property market is whether your area is currently a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market.

In simple terms a buyers’ market benefits the people looking to buy a property. Generally, there are more properties on the market than buyers. Sellers are essentially vying for their attention as sales are harder to come by in this environment. Buyers can benefit through increased negotiations over price as well having more choice and less competition regarding the properties they are looking at.

A seller’s market on the other hand is essentially the opposite. There are multiple buyers looking and fewer properties for sale. This generally forces more competition and can increase sale prices as a result.

If you are selling and buying at the same time, it can be a bit of a balancing act depending on the current market environment. For example, if house prices are generally on the rise this can be great for when you sell. But it also means you may be forced to pay extra, or over the odds, for a property when you buy. Reversely, if house prices are low you may get a good deal buying but when you come to sell you own, it may not reach your full expectations.

You can get an idea of how the market is playing out by keeping an eye on our latest monthly value statistics and market commentary. You can also register with us to receive them as part of our email newsletter.

The seasonal impact

Across the seasons, you will generally encounter different times for when it is most affective to buy and sell.

Although each year can differ depending on the economic climate, generally speaking the autumn and spring seasons are when most of the property sales occur. Even what seem like the smallest things, like extra sunlight and warmth, can affect how a house is viewed. As a result these seasons are more conducive to properties changing hands. Summer would seem like a good time also; however, a lot of people in the market can buy or sell before or after, avoiding the busy Christmas and New Year period.

Other factors to consider

There are many other factors you need to consider when you decide to buy or sell a property. Regardless of market conditions and current trends, you need to look at your personal circumstances. If you need to sell by a certain time for example, you don’t have a choice. However, perhaps trying to sell earlier and having a later settlement date, instead of starting to sell close to any deadline date would be a better option.

Some other important factors that you need to consider include:

Economic climate – is the current climate meaning people are holding onto their money?

Interest rates – are they low and making buying an easier prospect for you?

Neighbourhood developments – is a nearby eyesore going to affect whether you buy a property, or how does it impact you when selling? Or is something like a motorway extension or an airport expansion going to affect your home?

Defining features of your property – is there something that sets your property apart from ones nearby? Or, is a characteristic of your property highly sought after at the moment?

Latest News & Articles

The latest QV monthly house price index has just been released. I’m looking for any signs that the latest round of lending restrictions have begun to impact values. After all, you might expect that dramatically limiting people’s ability to get a mortgage would mean fewer people competing for properties and so the rate of value increase would slow, or even drop.


First of all it is worthwhile taking a look at the table below to see how much values have increased over the past year, and where that now leaves the average value of houses in each centre.

Now to look at whether things have changed in recent months. I always find something visual easier to interpret than tables of numbers, or screeds of words. Here then (below) are two maps of New Zealand showing value change over the past six months based on the monthly index.

The right hand map shows the value change over the latest three months. The left hand map shows the increase in the three months to October 2016. On both maps the larger the bubble, the more sales in that area. The colour range goes from brown being fastest increase, through orange for moderate increase, grey is flat, and blue is decrease. Both maps have the same colour scale meaning that if a colour changes from one map to the other it represents either a speeding up or slowing down.

The first thing I notice is the colour change in the Auckland area. Back in October the bubbles were dark orange to brown, showing relatively rapid increases in value. In the latest three months there is far more grey and light orange. The rate of value increase has therefore slowed or even flattened in Auckland. Likewise in Hamilton, Tauranga, the lower North Island and Christchurch.

There is still strength in the smaller centres in the Far North and Waikato, while there are a few smaller centres in the North Island dropping in value. New Plymouth, Whanganui, Napier and Nelson are all unchanged, while Dunedin and Invercargill have actually slightly picked up the pace.

My conclusion is therefore that there has definitely been an impact on the larger North Island centres. The investor restrictions are starting to bite in Auckland, and on Auckland purchasers in Hamilton and Tauranga. Of course the big question is whether this is the beginning of a big crash or the bursting of the bubble. I think not. My opinion is that within a few months potential purchasers will find ways around the lending restrictions, then low interest rates, high migration and a housing shortage will push values upwards again.

For more insights into various other measures of the housing market, check out CoreLogic's latest monthly property and economic update video.


New Zealand Regional Maps:
The latest monthly QV House Price Index shows that nationwide residential property values for January increased 13.5% over the past year. Values rose by 1.4% over the past three months and the average value nationwide is $631,302. The nationwide average value is now 52.4% above the previous market peak of late 2007. When adjusted for inflation the nationwide annual increase drops slightly to 12.0% and values are now 28.5% above the 2007 peak.
The Auckland market has increased 12.8% year on year and quarterly growth eased back to just 0.2% over the past three months. The average value for the Auckland Region is $1,047,699.
Residential property values in the wider Auckland region are now 91.7% higher than the previous peak of 2007.  When adjusted for inflation values rose 11.3% over the past year and are 61.6% above the 2007 peak.
QV National Spokesperson Andrea Rush said, “The latest QV House Price Index figures show value growth in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch continues to ease and in some parts of these cities quarterly value growth is now decreasing.
“Values continue to rise in Tauranga, Wellington and Dunedin amidst relatively buoyant market conditions compared to the other main centres.”
“We are now seeing a strong trend of value growth in regional centres around the country, particularly those situated within two to three hours’ drive of the main centres that have seen very strong value growth recently such as Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown.”
“These include the Kaipara District just north of Auckland where values accelerated 6.4% over the past three months and 25.9% since January last year led by strong growth in places like Mangawhai now a favourite for those who are selling up and moving out of Auckland.”
“Similarly the Hauraki District south of Auckland and also commuting distance to Hamilton and Tauranga accelerated 10.8% over the past three months and 30.3% year on year with towns like Paeroa and Ngatea in high demand from movers and investors alike.”
“Values in regions near Wellington such as the Kapiti Coast, Horowhenua and the South Wairarapa have also risen between 5.0 and 7.0% since November, as those priced out of the Wellington market look further out for affordable property.”
“The MacKenzie District in the South Island has jumped 9.7% since November and 26.9% year on year as those priced out of the Queenstown, Wanaka and the surrounds look to places like Tekapo and Twizel for lakeside property.”
“It’s possible rising mortgage interest rates and the new LVR rules will continue to constrain the rate of value growth during 2017. However, this will be balanced by continued record high net migration and a lack of housing supply particularly in Auckland. As well as the fact New Zealand property can be brought freehold and has fewer taxes on property compared with many other countries, meaning it remains a highly attractive investment to foreign buyers.”
QV Auckland homevalue Manager, James Steele said, “The Franklin District has seen the strongest growth in the Auckland region over the past quarter with values rising by 2.9% since November as buyers look further out to find more affordable property.”
“Places such as Waiuku, Pukekohe and coastal areas south of Clevedon are experiencing strong demand and value increases due to higher demand from investors and home buyers alike.”
“There still is a high demand in this area for new build dwellings with both land and house packages, and design and build packages happening within the new developments of Pukukohe, Patumahoe, Waiau Pa and Kingseat.”
“There’s been a similar trend north of Auckland with the Rodney- North seeing the strongest growth in the Auckland region over the past year – up by 14.5% year on year. This has been driven by stronger demand in places like Wellsford, Warkworth, Matakana and surrounding areas.
“However, quarterly value growth there has eased from 3.6% quarterly growth last month to 1.6% quarterly growth this month most likely due to the impact of the LVR restrictions.”
“Meanwhile, the Waitakere city, North Shore and Manukau housing markets have been slow going with vendors having to adjust their price expectations down to sell and open home attendances have been slow from November through January.” 
“It appears people may be taking a wait and see approach until after Waitangi weekend when people are back to it and it appears people aren’t willing or able with new loan restrictions to pay the premiums that they were in the first half of 2016.”
Hamilton home values have decreased 1.1% over the past three months however values are 18.6% higher year on year and 47.0% higher than the previous peak of 2007. The average value in the city is now $531,337.
QV homevalue valuer, Stephen Hare said, ““The Hamilton market has experienced a typical seasonal low over the Christmas period and values have levelled out.”
“We continue to see two-tiers in the Hamilton City housing market with properties above $550,000 continuing to attract buyers and those below $550,000 failing to sell at auction and taking longer to sell.”
“This is due to investors not being as active in the market since the introduction of the new LVR restrictions late last year. This means there is less competition for first home buyers and as a result they are becoming more active in the market.”
“A higher proportion are of properties are being passed in at auctions and this is leading to more being sold with expressions of interest, by negotiation and or with an asking price.”
The Tauranga market continues to rise but at a slightly slower rate than prior to the LVR restrictions introduced late last year. Home values in Tauranga City up by 20.7% year on year. The average value in the city is now $672,752.
Meanwhile, the Western Bay of Plenty values there rose 21.1% in the year since January 2016. The average value in the district is now $575,089.
QV homevalue Tauranga, Registered Valuer, David Hume said, “It appears 2017 has gotten off to a solid start in the housing market with improved attendance at open homes and a number of acceptable pre auction offers now people have returned from holiday.”
“While the Western Bay of Plenty popular beachside location along Pukehina Parade has seen exceptional growth over the last six months with older holiday baches on half sites now selling for $350,000 to $400,000 up from $250,000 12 months ago.”
The QV House Price Index for the wider Wellington Region shows home values rose 20.6% year on year and 4.2% over the past three months and values are now 27.8% higher than in the previous peak of 2007. The average value across the wider region there is now $582,322.
Upper Hutt has seen the strongest growth with values there rising 23.8% year on year and 6.9% over the past three months. Values have also accelerated in Horowhenua and on the Kapiti Coast since November rising 7.2% and 5.4% respectively.
QV homevalue Registered Valuer, David Cornford said, “Since Wellington anniversary weekend fresh listings have started coming to the market and this is likely to increase over February and March which are typically busy months in the market.”
“First home buyer activity has surged to record high levels at 30% of all sales in the Capital.”
 “Positive net migration into Wellington, relatively low interest rates and a continued shortage of listings supply on the market are all factors which indicate the Wellington property market is likely to continue to perform well in 2017.
“Rising house prices and strong demand for property has led to a shortage of rental stock in Wellington and rents have surged around 10% over the last year. It’s not uncommon to have 20 plus groups inspect a rental property and many landlords are asking applicants to submit a highest bid as part of the application process.”
“Given market conditions and the current rent squeeze, it’s likely that Wellington rents will increase further over the next few months.”
Home values in Christchurch City increased 2.8% in the year since January 2016 but have decreased slightly by 0.2% over the past three months and they are now 31.1% higher than the previous peak of 2007. The average value in the city is now $497,539 
“QV homevalue Christchurch, Registered Valuer Damian Kennedy said, “The Christchurch market has rebounded in activity in the last couple of weeks of January after a slow lead up to Christmas which is now being seen in the latest statistics.
“Listings and activity have picked-up significantly over the past couple of weeks as people come back from holiday.”
“First home buyers are active in the eastern suburbs with less competition from investors following the introduction of the LVR restrictions late last year.”
Dunedin city home values continue to rise steadily. Up 15.5% year on year and a strong 5.1% over the past three months. The average value in the city is now $359,055. Dunedin-Taieri saw the strongest growth with values up 17.5% year on year and 6.0% since November.
QV homevalue Dunedin Registered Valuer, Duncan Jack said, “The Dunedin market continues to see values rising with the trends of recent months continuing.”
“The market remains buoyant with strong competition from buyers. The market is certainly more active for the Christmas season than it has been for some years and we have not experienced the usual seasonal slowdown over the holiday period.”
“The levels of listings in Dunedin appear to be fairly constant. The turnover of sales is quick with very short listing periods.” 
“Buyers and sellers in the Dunedin market are definitely in action with anecdotal evidence suggesting that activity continued right through the holiday period. The market experienced very little if any slowdown during this time.”
Nelson home values have increased by 16.4% year on year and 5.0% over the past three months. The average value in the city is now $508,343.  The Tasman District also increased by 14.2% over the past year and 2.6% over the past three months. The average value in the district is now $498,111.
QV homevalue Nelson Registered Valuer Craig Russell said, “There has been strong market activity to start the year with good numbers at open homes and multiple offers presented in some circumstances.”
“Demand continues to exceed supply in the residential property market and low listings levels are contributing to competition amongst buyers and driving prices up.”
“Easy contoured vacant sections in close proximity to good schooling have been highly sought after which is leading to an increase in land values and in turn contributing to rising property values in the region.”
“However, with interest rates are now past their historic lows and beginning to creep upwards as the cost of offshore funding increases. Increased funding costs and uncertainty going forward may impact market confidence in the region but as yet we have not seen any sign of a slow-down in the market.”
Provincial centres
In the North Island, many of the regional centres continued to see steady value growth including Rotorua and Palmerston North. The areas to see the strongest percentage growth over the past three months were the Far North District up 8.3%; the Central Hawkes Bay up 9.1% and the Kawerau District where values spiked a further 16.6% and they are up a staggering 57.5% year on year but of course come off a low base. Gisborne also saw strong value growth, rising 5.9% over the past three months and 17.2% year on year.
All parts areas in the North Island saw values rise in the year since January 2016, however values have  decreased over the past three months in parts of Auckland and Hamilton as well as Western Bay of Plenty, Opotiki, Wairoa and South Taranaki.
In the South Island, many areas saw positive value growth over the past year. Queenstown Lakes District values continued to accelerate up 6.0% since November and 30.7% year on year. The MacKenzie District continued to benefit from the overflow of rising values in Queenstown and Wanaka, with values there rising 9.7% since November and 26.9% year on year. The only place in the South Island to see a decrease in values over the past year was the Buller District, while over the past three months values dropped in parts of Christchurch, Ashburton and Buller.
Nick Goodall, Senior Research Analyst, CoreLogic NZ Ltd
The QV House Price Index stats are out for December and what most stood out for me was the drop in value month-on-month for 12 of the 72 cities/districts nationwide, perhaps most notably in Auckland as well as in Hamilton. 
Upon reflection however, this stat isn’t completely surprising for two reasons. Firstly, we’d already seen a cooling off in the previous months - Auckland’s annual change had dropped from 15.9% in August to 12.8% in November, and to the latest figure of 12.2% in December. Hamilton’s annual change had dropped from 31.5% in July to 23.1% in November, and now 20.4% in December. Secondly, we’ve seen the impact of previous LVR limits over the Christmas period before: after the original restrictions in late 2015 required a 30% deposit for investors in Auckland, values dropped 0.8% from December 2014 to February 2015. 
So this is nothing new, but after the small drop over 2015/2016, values in Auckland grew 9.2% over the subsequent six months to August 2016.  Are we likely to see a rebound in values this time? In all likelihood I’d say yes - we’ll see a similar, if slightly more subdued, trend emerge this year.  
While some potential buyers have been affected by the latest LVR limits, it doesn’t appear to have been enough to significantly reduce competition for the limited number of properties that are available.
Also, rising mortgage interest rates may reduce the total amount that people can borrow (and therefore pay), so this may have more of an effect on rising prices, hence the growth being more subdued. In the end though there’s still a demand/supply imbalance with new construction improving slowly, and net migration picked to stay in the large positives for the foreseeable future.
It’s also important to remember that at the same time as tightening the LVR limits for investors, the Reserve Bank also reduced the amount of high LVR loans that banks were able to offer to owner-occupiers.
This has led to a drop in activity across the board. Sales volumes in late 2016 across all six of the main centres are down on the same period for 2015 and there’s been no major change in the mix of buyers in the market according to our nationwide Buyer Classification series. Investors continue to pick up roughly 40% of sales and first home buyers 21%. Other owner-occupiers (those moving between homes) did dip away slightly at the end of the year – going from 27.7% of sales in Q3 to 26.2% in Q4 – perhaps holding back due to increased uncertainty in the market.
This share between investors/first-home buyers/home movers does vary by location. Auckland investors finally ventured to Dunedin, but not exactly en mass. They accounted for 5% and 4% of sales in Q3 and Q4 respectively – up from a recent average of 3%. Otherwise the Dunedin breakdown looks similar to the nationwide picture, with other investors picking up 36% of sales in Q4 and first home buyers accounting for 22% of sales. 
In Christchurch, first home buyers have found their way back into the market as value growth remains flat (-0.3% quarterly growth), picking up 23% of sales in Q4 2016, an increase from only 19% two and a half years ago. Investors still remain strong here however, buying 43% of properties sold in Q4.
In the Wellington region we get the first real point of difference as first home buyers go from strength to strength – to the point where 31% of sales in Q4 were to this group of buyers. Both investors (36%) and owner-occupiers moving house (20%) picked up a lesser share of sales between Q3 and Q4.
Investor presence in Tauranga remains very high, accounting for 46% of sales in Q4, with almost one in four of these investors based in Auckland. Owner-occupiers moving house also favour the Bay with roughly 30% of sales to these buyers and a third of these from Auckland. First home buyers are less prevalent here, accounting for only 16% of sales in Q4.
Hamilton has also been attractive to Auckland investors but their activity has reduced throughout the last 18 months – from 17% of sales in Q3 2015 to just 11% in Q4 2016. Other investors (36%) take total investor purchases to 47%, with first home buyers (22%) and owner-occupiers moving house (21%) having a similar share of the remainder of sales in Q4.
Back to the Super City, where investor purchases have plateaued at 43% as first home buyers (21%) still find a way into the market despite excessive prices. Owner-occupiers moving house have slightly reduced their activity in the market, accounting for 23% of sales in Q4 2016. 
One final point of note as we kick into the New Year is that the total value of all residential property in NZ hit quite the milestone last month – now totalling over 1 trillion dollars. You could argue it’s just a number, but it is a bloody big one! 
New Zealand Regional Maps:
The latest monthly QV House Price Index shows that nationwide residential property values for December increased 12.5% over the past year. Values rose by 1.3% over the past three months and are now 51.5% above the previous market peak of late 2007. When adjusted for inflation the nationwide annual increase drops slightly to 12.2% and values are now 28.5% above the 2007 peak. The average value nationwide is $627,905.
The Auckland market has increased 12.2% year on year which is the slowest rate since January 2015. Home values in the Super City rose by 1.5% over the past three months and are now 91.6% higher than the previous peak of 2007.  When adjusted for inflation values rose 11.9% over the past year and are 62.4% above the 2007 peak. The average value for the Auckland Region is $1,047,179.
QV National Spokesperson Andrea Rush said, “December saw a continuation of the trend of a slowing rate of value growth, activity and demand.  This trend has been seen in many of the main centres since the introduction of the LVRs, which require a minimum 40% deposit for investment properties.”
“This coupled with the annual Christmas holiday period slow-down has led to a decrease in values in some parts of Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch since November.”
“However, in Wellington values continue to rise faster than in Auckland but at a slightly slower rate than prior to the LVRs being introduced.”
“While in Dunedin there has so far been no evident slowing in the housing market because of the new LVRs and value levels continue to increase and sales activity has remained strong throughout the Christmas period.”
“This is likely to be due to the fact the Dunedin housing market offers a much lower entry level and price point than the other main centres. Thus it’s easier for investors to find a 40% deposit to purchase there and investors have remained active there.” 
“A similar trend of plateauing/decreasing values was seen in the Auckland market over the summer period last year following the introduction of the (30%) LVRs for the Super City region only.”
“In 2016, the Auckland market then picked up in March, which usually the busiest month of the year, and it’s possible we may see this happen again.”
“However, if interest rates to continue to rise during 2017 this may further reduce demand from investors and lead to a longer period of lower value growth.”
“But any slow-down will be balanced by the fact the market is still being driven by strong net migration, relatively low interest rates and a lack of supply compared to the demand, particularly in Auckland.”
Home values across the Auckland region overall have decreased slightly over the last month dropping by 0.4% as the impact of the new LVR restrictions take effect on the market and between November and December there has been a decrease in values in parts of the North Shore, Waitakere, Manukau and also in the former Auckland City Council eastern and southern suburbs. Meanwhile the Rodney District has seen the strongest growth over the past year rising 14.0% year on year and 3.8% over the past three months.
QV Auckland General Manager, Jan O’Donoghue said, “Activity and demand in the Auckland residential property market has continued to slow during December as people appear to have decided to wait until after Christmas to enter the market.”
“This comes on top of the slowing in the market brought on by the introduction of the new LVR changes in the last quarter of the year which has led to price drops in some sectors of the market.”
“With interest rates set to rise further during 2017, it appears some investors are choosing not to buy more property as they have lower expectations of potential capital gains during 2017.”
“However, properties with sub-division potential (under the new Unitary Plan) are still selling well and achieving record prices.”
“This includes properties in areas that are close to up and coming town centres and have good transport links, in suburbs such as Mt Wellington and New Lynn.”
“Units that don’t have sub-division potential are less popular because there is low expectation of achieving capital gains.”
The rate of growth in Hamilton home values is considerably slower than it was earlier in the year with values rising 20.4% in the year since December 2015, but rising just 1.1% in the final quarter of the 2016. Over the past month there has been a decrease in values in suburbs in Hamilton North East, South West and South East. Values in the city are now 48.0% above the previous peak of 2007 and the average value is now $534,860.
QV General Manager, Richard Allen said, “During December the Hamilton City market became one of two different tiers with properties over $550,000 continuing to attract buyers, but properties under $550,000 proving much less popular.”
“This is because there are less buyers competing for properties at the lower end of the market, now that many investors have left the market following the new LVR rules being introduced.”
“However, this lower investor demand has allowed first home buyers to be more active in the under $550,000 band, and with most properties now passing in at auction and selling with a price or by negotiation, it is allowing buyers to make better decisions about what to offer.”
“We have also noticed an increase in the number of movers who are up-selling homes under $550,000, and buying more upmarket properties of up to around $700,000 with the capital gain they have made.”
“In the regional towns, investors are still actively looking for properties in places such as Huntly and Otorohanga where properties are less expensive and the 40% deposit requirement has less impact on purchasing ability.”
“Good prices continue to be achieved in Ngaruawahia.  Hauraki Plains’ towns such as Paeroa and Ngatea, are popular with Aucklanders due to lower prices and their proximity to Auckland, yet still offering entry level properties for under $300,000.”
The Tauranga market continues to rise, with home values in Tauranga City up by 24.0% year on year and 4.3% over the past three months. The average value in the city is now $672,197. Western Bay of Plenty home values rose 23.0% over the past year but decreased by 0.6% in the final quarter of the year. The average value in the district is now $571,520.
QV homevalue Tauranga, Registered Valuer, David Hume said, “We have seen a strong start to the year in the Tauranga housing market following on from good growth throughout 2016.”
“The announcement and immediate implementation of the new nationwide LVR restrictions in July saw a cooling off in the Tauranga market especially for investment properties toward the end of the year, although agents are reporting improved interest and sales volumes in recent months.”
“Western Bay of Plenty saw good growth in 2016 as it represented better ‘value for money’ in comparison to Tauranga however value growth is slowing there now due to fewer investors being active in the market.”
“Rents have continued to increase throughout 2016, with an average three bedroom house now renting for $100 more than it did two years ago.”
“The prestige market has shown good growth over the last six months with a number of sales in excess of $1.5 million, on the back of a strong stable economy and cashed up Auckland buyers looking for a lifestyle change.” 
“Building costs have escalated over the last two years with standard 180 square metre build costing around $1800 - $2,100 per square metre for an all- inclusive package and around $2400 - $2600 for two storey homes.”  
The QV House Price Index for the wider Wellington Region shows home values rose 20.5% year on year and 3.9% over the past three months and values are now 26.1% higher than in the previous peak of 2007. The average value across the wider region there is now $574,410. Wellington City’s western suburbs have seen the strongest growth over the past year with values rising 24.0% since December 2015 and 6.1% over the final quarter of the year.
QV homevalue Registered Valuer, David Cornford said, “The effect of the earthquake appears to have largely disappeared in the housing market but many vendors still haven’t had time to catch their breath with many planning to hold off listing their property until the New Year.”   
“Strong prices are still being achieved and property values continue to increase, albeit at a slightly lower rate.”
“The investor market has slowed marginally since the middle of the year with the introduction of LVR restrictions having had an impact on this segment of the market.”
“However, first home buyers remain very active and seem to be taking advantage now there are fewer investors in the market.”
“There has been the usual slowdown in the final weeks leading up to Christmas and the first few months of next year are likely to set the tone for the 2017 property market.”
Home values in Christchurch City increased 2.5% year on year but decreased 0.3% over the past three months and they are now 30.3% higher than the previous peak of 2007. The average value in the city has now dipped below $500,000 and is sitting at $494,247.  
“QV homevalue Christchurch, Registered Valuer Damian Kennedy said, “The residential property market in Christchurch is relatively quiet.”
“The traditional Christmas slow-down is underway as people wait until after the holidays to enter the market and this comes at a time when the new  LVR changes have reduced investor activity in the market.” 
“There was a boost to listings in November, but in December listings are down around 20% on what they were in December 2015.”
“Well-presented homes in the $500,000 price bracket remain popular as do entry level homes.”
“Some first home buyers who are buying properties with parental support are finding they are being affected by the LVR changes also, as the support they are receiving from parents is at times being classed as an investment.”
“A lot of people in Christchurch are under-insured and need to increase their level of insurance. However, there appears to have been little effect in terms of people addressing this even in light of recent earthquakes.”
Dunedin city home values have risen 14.6% year on year and 4.4% over the past three months. The average value in the city is now $354,133. 
QV homevalue Dunedin Registered Valuer, Duncan Jack said, “The LVR changes have had little effect on the Dunedin market and there has been no sign of the traditional Christmas period slow-down in the market here.”
“Value levels continue to steadily increase, sales activity levels also remain strong and properties selling quickly.”
“There is anecdotal evidence at the end of last year of multiple offer scenarios and high numbers at open homes continuing to be commonplace.”
Hawkes Bay
Napier home values continued to see strong growth rising 20.7% year on year and 5.5% over the past three months. The average value is $415,189. Hastings values rose 20.0% year on year and 5.4% over the past three months. The average value there is now $387,133.
QV homevalue Hawkes Bay, Registered Valuer Bevan Pickett said, “Investor activity dropped dramatically during December, with out-of-town investors appearing to have left the market.”
“The Christmas slow-down started in early December, however as yet the reduction in activity has not led to any drop in values but value growth does seem to be levelling off.”
“First home buyers are more active, with less investors around giving them less competition for entry level properties and leaving more properties for first home buyers to choose from.”
At the low end, interest in investment type properties seems to have dropped significantly, but there is still activity from first home buyers keeping that end of the market ticking over”.
“The mid-price bracket of between $300,000 and $400,000 is showing the most activity and the market is still going well at this point despite out of town investors no longer being active here.” 
“Sales are good and well-presented and well-priced properties are selling well. New properties in new sub-divisions are also selling well.”
“In the Hawkes Bay a new, 200 sqm home with a garage usually sells in the range of between $550,000 and 700,000. At the top end of the market values rarely exceed $1.3 million.”
Nelson home values are now increasing at a faster rate than Auckland up 16.6% year on year and 4.8% over the past three months. The average value in the city is now just shy of half a million dollars and is sitting at $499,866.  The Tasman District also increased by 14.4% over the past year and 5.0% over the past three months. The average value in the district is now also just shy of half a million dollars and is sitting at $499,082. 
QV homevalue Nelson Registered Valuer Craig Russell said, “Property values continue to rise in the Nelson/Tasman region given the low interest rate environment, strong regional economic performance and anecdotally strong migration to the region.”
“There is traditionally limited sales activity over the Christmas break and it will be interesting to see whether the property market has the same impetus it had through the latter stages of 2016.”
“Nelson listing numbers have increased over the previous three months while Tasman District listing numbers have remained relatively stable.”
“We appear to be entering the fear of missing out (FOMO) stage of the property cycle which combines the perception of always increasing property prices and idea that interest rates will remain relatively low.”
“House and land packages remain a popular option given there are incentives to build new and increase the housing supply. This has resulted in sections being relatively hard to come by and an increased wait time for the building process to commence.”
Other Provincial centres
In the North Island, the Kaipara District is one of the stand-out performers with values up 27.8% year on year and 8.0% over the last quarter of the year as buyers continue to look north of Auckland for more affordable property. The Hauraki District is also up by 30.0% year on year and 8.8% over the past three months, again due to movers and investors looking south of Auckland for more affordable property. The Kawerau District is now up 60.2% year on year and 17.0% over the last quarter of the year, as the average home value there jumped from $110,062 in December 2015 to $176,324 in December 2016. 
In the South Island, most areas have seen values continue to rise over the past year apart from in the Buller District on the West Coast where values decreased slightly by 1.9% since December 2015.
The strongest performers were Queenstown up 31.6% year on year and the MacKenzie District up 25.0% year on year.


The year in review

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Just before Christmas CoreLogic Senior Research Analyst Nick Goodall took time to review ‘the year that was’ in the property market and consider what 2017 may hold.
It was a year that saw many factors influence the property market to varying degrees, and 2017 will also bear the flow on effects of both international (Brexit and Trump) and local (a new Prime Minister, RBNZ restrictions and earthquakes) influences.
We experienced record low interest rates, significantly constrained supply and record net migration consistently throughout the year.
We saw the average Auckland property value exceed $1m and centres in the top half of the North Island experience record rates of growth, with Hamilton peaking at 31.5% p/a in July and Tauranga at 28.5% p/a in August.
Wellington also jumped aboard the bandwagon with the annual growth rate peaking in September at 21.2%.
There remains a feeling of "surely this can’t go on forever?", but despite influencing factors such as migration, interest rates and construction turning around it is still looking strong for growth to continue throughout 2017.
Check out the video for Senior Research Analyst Nick Goodall's full break down.