QV House Price Index, August 2022: Downturn continues as winter draws to a close
The QV House Price Index for August shows the housing market continues to cool as winter draws to a close. Tight credit conditions and rising interest rates means fewer buyers are competing for an oversupply of stock. This continues to put downward pressure on prices as we head into spring.
The average home decreased in value by 5.5% nationally over the past three-month period to the end of August, weakening further from the 4.9% decrease in quarterly value change we saw in July, with the national average value now sitting at $973,848. This represents an average annual increase of just 1.1%, down from 4% annual growth last month.
In the Auckland region, the average value now sits at $1,383,668, falling 5.8% over the last three-month period, with annual growth also dropping to 1.1%, down from the 4.3% we reported in July.
QV General Manager David Nagel commented: “The residential market is desperate for some oxygen with a dwindling pool of buyers spoilt for choice with an oversupply of listings. There’s no immediate sign of things getting any better with interest rates likely to rise further and business confidence starting to wane.”
Wellington and Tauranga are showing the largest three-month value reductions of the main urban areas with falls of 9.4% and 7.8% respectively. Dunedin is not very far behind with a 6.7% reduction in average home value this quarter.
“We’re starting to see some pretty significant value reductions now, especially in the main urban areas where value growth was previously so strong. Market gains from August 2021 have largely been eroded from the falls in the first seven months of 2022,” Mr Nagel said.
Value levels peaked nationally in early 2022, with the Wellington region hit the hardest since then, with a 14.7% reduction in values since January. Auckland has also been hit hard with values falling 10.2% since peak. Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay regions have both come back 9.2% since January, with all these locations having experienced exceptionally strong growth throughout the 2020-2021 cycle.
“There’s mixed views on the extent of further interest rate rises, as well as how these will impact house prices over the next 12 months. Some economists are suggesting we’re close to the peak of mortgage interest rates, while other commentators are predicting house prices may fall a further 25% over the next 12 months,” Mr Nagel said.
“With borders now open, I think we’ll likely see a few more people entering the property market, either as buyers or renters. However, we’re also losing plenty of people heading offshore. The residential market performs much better when net migration is positive, and that time might not be too many months away.”
“It looks as though it’s going to get tougher before it gets any easier for sellers. First-home buyers will continue to struggle for finance with tight credit conditions and affordability constraints. Plus there’s still plenty of new homes in the pipeline, which will add further to over supply, putting further downward pressure on prices,” Mr Nagel added.
The residential property downturn continues to gather pace across the wider Auckland region.
Home values have declined by an average of 9.4% this calendar year – up from the figure of 7.7% that QV reported last month – including a 5.8% drop in the three months to the end of August. The average home value in the region is now $1,383,668, which is just $15,416 higher than at the same time last year.
The largest home value reductions this quarter have occurred in Waitakere (-8.1%), Franklin (-6.7%), Rodney (-6.5%) and Manukau (-6.5%), with Papakura (-1.3%) showing the most resilience over the winter months. Two of the super city’s former territorial authorities are showing negative annual growth now – Auckland City (-3%) and Waitakere (-0.3%).
Local QV valuer Hugh Robson commented: “As expected the Auckland market has continued to slow down over the past 4-5 weeks. A notable trend is the increasing number of properties listed on the market with an actual asking price – a rarity over the last year or two – with agents reporting a slight drop off in enquiry levels. Interest rates continue to have a major impact.
“Properties in less desirable suburbs and properties that require some work are attracting reduced interest. On the other hand, properties in popular locations and well presented homes are still attracting good interest, albeit at lower price expectations than in 2021.”
“There are many developments still under construction or nearing completion across the city, indicating a steady supply of new builds coming on to the market as spring and summer approaches,” Mr Robson added.
Residential property values have declined across the Northland region by an average of 1.3% this calendar year, including a 4.1% reduction in the most recent quarter.
Despite the latest QV House Price Index showing negative home value growth in the Far North District and Kaipara of 3% and 1.8% respectively in the three months to the end of August, both districts are still showing overall positive home value growth of 0.4% and 0.9% respectively this year.
The Whangarei District, on the other hand, has recorded an average home value reduction of 2.8% so far in 2022, including a 5.3% decline over the last three months – a marked increase from the 3.5% rate of negative quarterly growth reported last month.
The residential property market “correction” appears to be picking up pace in Tauranga as winter draws to a close..
QV’s latest rolling three-month average shows home values declined by an average of 7.8% in the three months to the end of August, up from the 4.9% rate of negative quarterly home value growth reported last month.The average home value in Tauranga is now $1,099,342, which is 6.3% lower than it was at the start of 2022 and just 2.4% higher than the same time last year.
QV property consultant Derek Turnwald commented: “Many prospective buyers appear to still be playing the waiting game – holding off making property purchases unless they find a property that is high in desirability or appears to be good value for money.
“Demand for housing of all values has declined and is now generally subdued in comparison to what we witnessed in 2020 and 2021. Listing numbers have increased and listing periods are extending as supply increases. Open home and auction attendance is also very weak at present, with many open homes only getting around 2-4 visitors.”
“Vendors are now realising that the high prices attainable in 2021 are no longer a reality and that to ensure a sale in the current market they must lower their expectations, in some cases quite considerably – especially if the property has maintenance or non-compliance issues,” Mr Turnwald added.
Home values have slipped back across the Waikato region by an average of 3.2% so far in 2022 – including a 2.4% reduction in the most recent quarter.
Residential property values have fallen further on average in Hamilton than anywhere else in the region, dropping by 7.2% throughout the first eight months of 2022 – a touch below the national average of 7.6% – with the city’s northwestern suburbs recording the largest decline (-8.1%).
Local QV registered valuer Tom Schicker commented: “Market volatility remains high, and with so much economic uncertainty – including rising interest rates and inflation – the housing market is continuing to slow across the Waikato region. This is most evident in Hamilton, where annual home value growth is now down to less than 1%.”
“With longer selling periods and more stock available on the market, real estate agents are reporting properties are generally selling for less than vendors were initially hoping for,” Mr Schicker added.
Home values have dropped by an average of 5.3% so far this year in Rotorua – including 3% in the August quarter.
The latest QV House Price Index shows the average home value in Rotorua is now $708,167, which is just 2.5% higher than the same time a year ago. QV property consultant Derek Turnwald said that figure accurately reflected a local residential property market that “remained largely subdued” due to a range of economic factors.
“Rising costs, rising interest rates, overseas conflict and the everpresent COVID situation has caused confidence in the housing market to plummet, with many prospective buyers feeling fearful right now of paying too much for a property. We’re seeing selling periods continue to extend as a result,” Mr Turnwald said.
“Rotorua’s higher valued suburbs appear to be performing somewhat better than the rest. Demand for lifestyle properties within the Rotorua district is also reported to be reasonable. At the opposite end of the market, investors appear to be holding firm – neither buying, nor selling in large quantities – while first-home buyers are only beginning to show more interest now that lending criteria has relaxed. Now they’re more likely to be restricted by an inability to service home loans due to rising interest rates.”
Home values have gone down across the Taranaki region by an average of 3.6% this quarter – with just one of its districts showing any positive growth for the first eight months of 2022.
The latest QV House Price Index shows negative growth this calendar year in New Plymouth (-1.7%) and South Taranaki (-5.2%), where the average home values are currently $734,970 and $454,851 respectively. In Stratford, on the other hand, the average home value ($509,119) is still 2.9% higher than at the start of 2022..
Home values remain 8.9% higher on average across the wider Taranaki region than they were 12 months ago – considerably better than the national average, which is just 1.1%.
The average home value in Napier has recorded its first annual loss in nearly a decade.
In the 12 months to the end of August 2022, the average Napier home value ($819,168) has reduced by 3%, following a reduction of 8.4% over the first eight months of the year. It’s the first average annual home value loss that QV has recorded in the city since November 2012.
Hastings isn’t too far behind its close neighbour. Its average home value has declined by 9% throughout the first eight months of the year, including a 5.9% drop in the most recent quarter, with annual home value growth only just sitting in positive territory at 0.7% on average.
Local QV registered valuer Damien Hall commented: “I do suspect values are beginning to bottom out now, but perhaps there is still a wee way to go. The past few months have seen a fairly consistent decline in values month-on-month, but confidence and activity is starting to pick up again now as banks have become more willing to lend.
“But there’s still that uncertainty around inflation and interest rate rises. I think the longer it takes to plateau, the more people are likely to hold back – especially leading into the election year next year.”
Palmerston North’s average home value dipped below $700,000 last month.
It follows seven consecutive months of negative home value growth across the city, adding up to a 10.5% average decline in home value for the 2022 calendar year.
Local QV senior property consultant Olivia Betts commented: “We continue to see a decline in the market, which has accelerated in the last couple of months as sellers adjust their expectations to meet current market levels. Interest rates have continued to increase at the same time, with the cost of borrowing making it more difficult for buyers – even with sale prices reducing.”
“However, we do expect to see a number of new listings in the coming months due to the normal spring surge, which should also naturally bring in more buyers as well,” Mrs Betts added.
Home values have declined across the greater Wellington region for the seventh straight month.
It all adds up to an average decline in home value of 14.2% so far in 2022, with values falling furthest in Hutt City (-16.7%) and Upper Hutt City (-15.7%) – at a rate that is more than twice the national average this year (-7.6%). Central Wellington (-15.1%) isn’t far behind them.
Local senior QV consultant David Cornford commented: “Value declines continue to accelerate across the Wellington region, but we are starting to see more activity in the market now, with an uptick in open home attendance and more sold signs popping up throughout the region.
“The majority of vendors have now adjusted their value expectations and, given the significant value drops over the last seven months, more buyers are beginning to enter the market – a possible early indication that we are nearing the bottom of this downturn.”
“Buyers continue to have plenty of choice. Vendors need to be competitive in regards to price and presentation to achieve a result, as the number of days to sell remains lengthy – although quality stock is proving more resilient compared to secondary housing stock,” Mr Cornford added.
The average home value in Nelson has recorded its first annual reduction in more than a decade.
In the 12 months to the end of August 2022, the average home value in the city ($816,499) has declined by 0.4%. It follows an average reduction of 7.9% over the first eight months of this year, including a 5.5% drop in average home value this quarter.
QV Nelson/Marlborough manager Craig Russell said it was the city’s first average annual loss since June 2011. “The Nelson property market has been particularly weak in the entry level and first-home buyer segment of the market as higher interest rates, access to finance, and a fear of overpaying for a home remain in the forefront of many purchasers' minds.”
He said the recent flooding in the region was also having an effect. “Properties in areas affected by the recent weather event will likely be viewed more critically, at least in the short term. With a large number of homes now uninhabitable, the supply and demand equilibrium has also shifted, with the region’s rental supply coming under increasing pressure, which will likely lead to an increase in rents.”
The latest QV House Price Index shows a 4.9% decline in average home value across the West Coast region this quarter.
Buller (-0.9%) fared better than Grey District (-6%) and Westland (-7.6%) during the three months to the end of August 2022, with the average home value in these three districts now sitting at $340,125, $348,832, and $393,483 respectively.
Annual home value growth is still positive across the West Coast at 8% on average – far better than the national average, which is just 1.1%. However, the region’s rate of home value growth has dipped into negative territory this calendar year at -0.5%, being the last in New Zealand to do so (alongside Canterbury).
Local QV registered valuer David Shaw commented: “Buller bucked the downward trend in August with an upward bump in average home value, leaving it well ahead of Grey and Westland for 2022. But sales volumes have reduced significantly throughout the region, with the number of residential sales in traditional higher valued areas such as around Lake Brunner also having dried up.”
Mr Shaw said vacant land sales throughout the West Coast were still showing “a significant increase in value levels from a relatively low base”.
Canterbury and the West Coast were the last two regions in Aotearoa-New Zealand to descend into negative home value growth for the 2022 calendar year.
In the eight months to the end of August, home values have reduced by an average of 0.6% across the wider region, following four consecutive months of negative growth. But the region’s annual growth rate is still looking extremely robust at 14.2% – well above the national average, which is just 1.1%.
Home values decreased by an average of 0.8% last month in Christchurch – a slight bounce back from the 1.2% monthly decline QV reported last month. This is reflected in a 3.6% quarterly decline, which is only slightly more than the 3.4% decline reported last month.
Local QV property consultant Olivia Brownie commented: “Though the speed of the decline has slowed, we may have a few more months of uncertainty, with value growth unlikely to stabilise in the short term for the greater Christchurch region. Buyers are continuing to deliberate or are holding off until they find a suitable property or a vendor who is willing to negotiate.
“We note there has recently been an increase in first-home buyers active in the market and an increase of listings with asking prices that are meeting the market.”
Meanwhile, home values have decreased by 3.3% this quarter in the Selwyn District, a slight improvement on last month’s figure, with the average house value now sitting at $856,965. The Waimakariri District even saw a modest amount of growth last month, with its quarterly rate of negative home value growth improving from 2.5% at the end of July, to 1.5% at the end of August.
Dunedin’s average rate of negative home value growth has now reached double figures for 2022.
At the end of August, the city’s average home value was $650,969, which is 5% lower than the same time last year, and 10.3% lower than at the start of this year. For comparison, the national average home value was $973,848 – up 1.1% annually and down 7.6% for the calendar year.
Local QV registered valuer Rebecca Johnston said the rezoning to Residential 2 and the maximum permitted development ruling under the 2GP are providing for higher density development within the city, including Caversham, South Dunedin, St Kilda, Andersons Bay, Musselburgh, Andersons Bay, Waverley, Mornington through to Maori Hill, Woodhaugh, Green Island and Mosgiel.
“Demand for off-plan built townhouses remains strong overall, with good demand from out-of-town investors. Demand for renovated and well-presented dwellings also remains strong. However, land sales remain slow, with some purchasers of vacant land last year now unable to afford to develop it. Though good prices continue to be obtained for desirable harbour, coastal, or beach locations with elevation and good water outlook.”
Miss Johnston said Mosgiel was seeing a significant number of townhouses being constructed, with the greatest demand for ones with two bedrooms. “This is reflected in Taieri having the lowest reduction in value for 2022 thus far – 6.4% compared with 13.1% in South Dunedin – in combination with having the greatest number of modern lifestyle properties. Though like elsewhere in NZ, there needs to be caution regarding an oversupply of townhouses.”
Queenstown continues to be an outlier amongst New Zealand’s main centres.
The town’s average home value has increased by 18.6% in the 12 months to the end of August 2022, including 4.3% this year, and 1.5% this quarter.
It’s a stark contrast to the national average home value ($973,848), which has increased by just 1.1% in the last 12 months, and decreased by 7.6% and 5.5% during this calendar year and quarter respectively.
Home values have declined for the fifth straight month in New Zealand’s southernmost city.
The latest QV House Price Index shows Invercargill’s average home value declined by 3.1% this quarter to $473,893. That figure is 2.6% lower than at the start of this year and 4% higher than the same time last year.
Local QV registered valuer Andrew Ronald commented: “Only a limited number of investors and first-home buyers continue to compete within the $350,000 to $550,000 bracket, which is largely due to difficulties in obtaining suitable finance and rising interest rates. But there remains a good level of demand at the upper end of the market, where buyers are less affected by these factors.”
“The lifestyle market remains strong, possibly as a result of the preference for space and privacy following Covid forced periods of isolation,” Mr Ronald added.
Only eight districts recorded positive home value growth this quarter, with Otorohanga (2.9%) in first place. It was followed by Central Otago (2.3%), Hurunui (2.2%), Waitomo (1.6%), Queenstown (1.5%) Ruapehu (1.3%), Hauraki (0.6%) and Ashburton (0.1%).
Throughout the first eight months of 2022, Opotiki (7.1%) tops the list for most home value growth on average. It’s followed by Central Otago (6.4%) and Kaikoura (6.2%). The largest declines during this period were in the Wellington region.
Keep track of all home value movements via our interactive QV House Price Index.