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QV Quartile Index: First-home values way up, but price pressure shifting

The latest QV Quartile Index shows precisely how difficult it has become since lockdown for Kiwis to take their first step on the property ladder.

Of the main centres, the five biggest price increases in the last 12 months all occurred at the lower end of the market – that is the homes that make up the least expensive quarter of the market. These were in Hutt City (35.5%), Napier (33.9%), Palmerston North (31.1%), Porirua (29.4%) and Hastings (29.2%).

Outside of the main centres, the average values of entry-level houses in Ruapehu, Buller and Southland have increased by 72.4%, 54.6%, and 46.8% respectively over the past 12 months – by far the largest price increases anywhere in the country, partly due to these areas having a lower base value in relation to the national average.


Quotable Value (QV) general manager David Nagel commented: “It’s no wonder that first-home buyers have been feeling so hard done by. Just look at the size of those capital gains, which have been driven up, up, up by a lack of supply and a whole lot of competition between other first-home buyers and property investors.

“Our data shows that it has been a very busy 12 months for first-home buyers and investors in particular. In the past year, the only main centres where the top end of the market outperformed the lower end were Tauranga, Queenstown, Upper Hutt, Rodney and Waitakere.”


However, the latest figures indicate that price pressure may be shifting from the bottom quarter of the market to the top. In the last three months, the upper quartile outperformed the lower quartile in 41% of the territorial authorities that QV reports on – up from 29% over the past 12-month period.

“Time will tell what the exact effect of the Government’s recent measures to combat rampant house prices will be,” said Mr Nagel. “I suggest that we may see a slight cooling of the bottom 25% of the market in coming months as investors take a pause to weigh up their futures – whether or not they can cover the additional costs or if they should sell.

“This pause may give many first-home buyers the opportunity they need to get on the property ladder, but it’s hard to see prices coming down in a hurry, given that there’s still so much demand and not enough supply. Meanwhile, price pressure will concentrate further up the property ladder.”

Keep track of the latest house prices in your region via our interactive House Price Index.