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Home values still “holding steady” in Ashburton, Waimate and Mackenzie


Just six districts across New Zealand are still showing positive home value growth annually. Half of them are in Canterbury.

With May’s figures yet to be finalised, the QV House Price Index for April showed home values had fallen by an average of 13.3% nationally over the past 12 months. Across the wider Canterbury region, the average home value was 8.2% lower than the same time last year — including 10% lower in Christchurch.

These figures stand in stark contrast to the districts of Ashburton, Waimate, and Mackenzie, where the average home values are still up year-on-year by an average of 2.1%, 2.3%, and 3.9% respectively. The only other exceptions nationwide are Otorohanga (6.5%), Queenstown (5.3%), and Wairoa (0.3%).

Local Quotable Value (QV) registered valuer and senior consultant Olivia Brownie commented: “Canterbury isn’t as far along in the property cycle as many other regions around the country, so we may yet see Ashburton, Waimate, and Mackenzie join the rest of the country in the coming months. But these districts are also driven by different economic factors to many of the main centres.”

She cited South and Mid Canterbury’s relatively strong rural sector as one explanation for the region’s resilient housing market. “Ashburton tends not to be as significantly affected by some factors currently effecting main centres — probably due to it being more of a family-home market, with also a large population of retirees, who typically look to pay more ‘realistic’ sale prices.

“Ashburton is also still coming off some good urban drift, with population growth from out of Christchurch contributing towards more resilient house values.”

Meanwhile, Timaru-based QV registered valuer Alex Wills said values in Mackenzie District had benefited from “solid demand” for holiday homes, “especially due to their relative affordability when compared to the likes of Queenstown and Wanaka”.

“The region’s affordability is definitely one factor that has been in its favour. We’ve never really had a ‘boom’ type economy like the big cities do — it’s always been pretty steady in this part of the world, even during the last couple of years. Though the market has obviously softened, primarily as a result of rising interest rates, values are holding steady.”

He said the same was true of Timaru, where the average home value has dropped by an average of 0.5% annually, compared to a national average decline of 13.3%. “It’s a good place to be. People can get ahead here, with much better affordability than you’ll find in any of the big cities.”

Keep track of all these value movements and more via our interactive QV House Price Index.