QV House Price Index, June 2022: “Correction” gathers momentum across Aotearoa
The QV House Price Index for June shows the housing market continues to feel the heat from rising interest rates and an oversupply of listings. Credit constraints are limiting the number of new buyers entering the market and a combination of newly completed developments and existing property being listed for sale means there’s significantly more sellers than buyers, which is putting downward pressure on prices.
The average home decreased in value by 3.4% nationally over the past three-month period to the end of June, weakening further from the 2.2% decrease in quarterly value change we saw in May, with the national average value now sitting at $1,011,188. This represents an average annual increase of 7.2%, down from 10.5% annual growth last month.
In the Auckland region, the average value now sits at $1,441,941, falling 4.1% over the last three-month period, with annual growth of 7%, down from the 9.9% we reported in May.
QV General Manager David Nagel commented: “Just six months ago the national market was tracking at just under 30% value growth per annum. This has fallen back quite dramatically, down to single figures, with further reductions inevitable over the coming months as this home value correction continues across Aotearoa.”
Wellington and Napier are showing the largest three-month value reductions with falls of 6.6% and 5.4% respectively. Nelson and Hamilton, at 5.2 and 4.7% reduction in values respectively, are not very far behind.
Only one of the 16 major urban areas that QV monitors has shown an increase in three-monthly house price value, with Queenstown-Lakes defying the downward trend with 1.9% home value growth for the quarter.
“A 3.4% reduction over a three-month period doesn’t sound like much when you consider the gains over the previous couple of years, but when you look at the fall in value throughout the first six months of 2022, it becomes a lot more significant, particularly if you purchased at the peak of the market in late 2021,” Mr Nagel said.
He pointed out that the most buoyant markets from 2020-2021 were the first to show a dip in prices, as evidenced by the six-monthly change data. Palmerston North’s home values have come back on average 6.9% during the first six months of the year, with Hamilton values also hit hard at 6.4%. The Wellington region also saw big increases throughout 2020-2021, but is now showing an average correction of 8% for the calendar year. Auckland values have come back 5.6% in the same period.
Across the regions, Canterbury is showing the most resilience. Although growth is tapering off, Canterbury still recorded an average value increase of 20.9% since this time last year. The Taranaki region is also still showing strong annual growth at 15.5%, with Northland not far behind on 15% annual growth.
“All eyes will be on the next Reserve Bank OCR announcement as interest rates are expected to rise further to counter inflationary pressures. While prices are retreating across the country, the increase in borrowing costs means debt servicing and credit availability remain key stumbling blocks for new entrants to the market,” Mr Nagel added.
Losses are mounting across the wider Auckland region, where the average home value has dropped by 4.1% this quarter.
The region’s three-monthly average rate of negative home value growth has increased for the fourth month in a row, with all districts posting a loss this quarter. Property values in Waitakere saw the biggest decline (-4.9%), followed by North Shore (-4.2%), Manukau (-4%), and Auckland city (-3.9%).
The average home value across the wider Auckland region is now $1,441,941 – still 7% higher than the same time last year – with only Rodney (0.2%) showing any positive growth over the first six months of the 2022 calendar year, and even that small amount of growth is expected to drop in the coming weeks and months.
QV valuer Hugh Robson said rising interest rates and tighter finance regulations continued to impact the market. “As with previous property booms in Auckland, the market tends to overshoot the mark, and then there is a period of correcting itself over the following months,” he said.
“Over the past 4-5 weeks, the Auckland residential market has seen a continued decline in buyer activity, a decline in sale price levels, and an increase in selling periods. Many auctions are ending without a single bid being registered, with negotiations often taking place later on behind closed doors.”
“While home values continue to decline, building costs are currently doing anything but. The next 6-9 months will be interesting, as there are many multi-unit developments currently under construction, with many just starting earthworks,” he added.
Home values dropped by an average of 2.3% across the Northland region this quarter.
Kaipara experienced the largest average decline by far at 5.4%, with Whangarei and Far North District recording negative home value growth of 1.5% and 2.2% respectively.
Unlike most of the rest of the country, these three districts are still showing some positive home value growth for the calendar year – though that is also expected to drop into negative territory in the coming weeks and months.
Tauranga’s slower-than-average rate of reduction has caught up with the rest of New Zealand.
Until June, home values had been easing down at a slower rate than the national average. Now QV’s latest figures show that Tauranga’s home values have fallen by an average of 3.5% over the last three months – a fraction of a percentage above the national average.
QV property consultant Derek Turnwald commented: “Many prospective buyers are playing the waiting game right now, holding off unless they find a property which is high in desirability or appears to be good value for money. As a result, demand for housing of all values has declined and is now generally subdued. Listing numbers have increased and listing periods are extending as supply increases and demand decreases.”
He said it was unlikely that prices would stabilise in the short term – though it appeared that first-home buyers were beginning to show some “renewed optimism” as lending criteria began to relax somewhat, along with the increase in the income cap for the First Home Grant.
“FOMO (fear of missing out) has given way to a fear of paying too much. Prospective purchasers are taking longer to deliberate and negotiate prices with vendors, who are having to lower their expectations and meet the market,” Mr Turnwald added.
Home values continue to slide throughout much of the Waikato.
Home values have fallen across the wider region by an average of 2.3% – an increase of 0.5% since last month’s QV House Price Index – with just Thames-Coromandel, Matamata-Piako and Taupo either holding their own or posting marginal positive growth.
Home values have also dropped by an average of 4.7% in Hamilton this quarter, with the city’s residential property values recording a net loss of 6.4% on average during the first half of the 2022 calendar year – a far cry from the positive 14.9% growth it recorded over the same period last year.
QV registered valuer Tom Schicker commented: “Interest rates are continuing to increase and with more stock available in a slowing, volatile market, buyers are being much more cautious, which is understandable given the high amount of economic uncertainty. With more properties being listed, agents are reporting longer selling periods across Hamilton city in particular.”.
Home values continue to decline in Rotorua, dropping by an average of 3% this quarter.
The average home value in Rotorua is now $724,305, which is 3.1% lower than at the start of this calendar year, but still 4.7% higher than at the same time last year.
QV property consultant Derek Turnwald said demand for residential property remained subdued in Rotorua generally, with two exceptions – upper value suburbs and lifestyle properties. “Many people are now able to work from home and there is also uncertainty still regarding Covid-19 and therefore lifestyle properties away from the city are becoming more attractive to some people.”
“There is continued subdued interest in the lower end valued properties typically targeted by first-home buyers and investors. This is likely to be due to a lack of confidence in the market, increasing interest rates and increased supply. Investors are also reporting that it is becoming more difficult to find suitable long term tenants.”
Mr Turnwald said first-home buyers may show more interest in the market as lending criteria “relaxes a little” and with the First Home Grant increasing to $525,000. “However, borrowers are now likely to be restricted more by an inability to service home loans as interest rates rise than by a bank’s scrutiny of their financial position.”
In terms of average home value growth, Taranaki is one of just a handful of regions still recording a net gain over the first six months of the year.
But while residential property values are 1.2% higher on average than they were on New Year’s Eve, they look likely to drop into negative territory in the coming weeks and months, with the region posting an average loss of 0.6% for the quarter and the colder months about to set in.
In New Plymouth, home values have dipped by 1.5% since the start of April to an average of $746,771.
Home values are down across the wider Hawke’s Bay Region by an average of 5.2% this quarter.
The latest figures show negative home value growth of 5.4% and 4.6% this quarter in Napier and Hastings respectively, with the average home value in these twin cities also sitting at $848,491 and $876,033 respectively.
Local QV registered valuer Damien Hall commented: “The determining factors paint a fairly similar picture to last month, with the increase in the OCR again pushing interest rates up, which is keeping downward pressure on prices and dramatically reducing activity.”
Meanwhile, he said “the tide had turned” in the districts of Central Hawke’s Bay and Wairoa, where values had dropped this quarter by 7.3% and 5.5% respectively.
Palmerston North’s annual rate of home value growth has officially dipped into negative territory.
It’s one of just two New Zealand towns, cities or districts to do so this year so far – the greater Wellington region also succumbed to negative annual home value growth in the latest QV House Price Index – and marks the first time that Palmerston North has recorded negative home value growth over a 12-month period since October 2014.
Local home values have dipped by an average of 0.3% to $715,963 in Palmerston North since the same time last year. That includes a drop of 6.9% throughout the first six months of this calendar year, and a 3.8% reduction in the most recent quarter.
Local QV senior property consultant Olivia Betts commented: “The market is continuing in a correction cycle, now showing a relatively consistent negative pattern after a huge value surge last year. Downward price adjustments are being seen from listed properties as seller expectations are correcting to current market levels.”
She said sales volumes were currently low but stable. “With interest rates continuing to increase, the cost of borrowing is making it more difficult for buyers even with sale prices reducing. Growing numbers of buyers are also showing significant reservations now when it comes to properties with development potential, highlighting the concern many developers have with rising building costs and the current trajectory of the market.”
Home values across the Wellington region have recorded an annual loss for the first time since January 2012.
The average Wellington home value has dropped by 1.5% in the 12 months since the end of June last year, with values also falling 8% throughout the first six months of this year – including a 6.6% reduction over the last three months to the end of June 2022.
The largest reductions in average home value were recorded this quarter in Upper Hutt (-8.7%), Wellington City (-7.5%) and Porirua (-7.3%), with neighbouring Kapiti Coast District (-4.6%) recording the smallest reduction on average.
Local QV registered valuer Blake Ngarimu commented “Upper Hutt values have come back a whopping 11.2% since the start of 2022, while Hutt City has also been hit hard with a 10.6% correction. Both of these markets experienced a huge value surge throughout 2020-2021, so it’s little surprise to see them showing the biggest correction.”
“Properties continue to linger on the market, taking an average of 55 days to sell, which is an extra week than last month. Open homes remain quiet, stock levels remain high, and buyers have plenty of choice – particularly at the lower end of the market. Despite this, deals are continuing to be done, albeit at a much slower rate, with vendors having to be realistic in order to achieve a result.”
“While first home buyers are struggling to obtain finance right now, the amendments to the CCCFA are expected to relieve some of these pressures. However, while the market continues to fall some of the major banks have announced a pause on low equity mortgages,” Mr Ngarimu added.
The residential property downturn appears to be escalating in Nelson.
Home values have fallen by an average of 5.2% over the last three months in Nelson – a relatively large 1.7% increase in its rate of reduction since the last QV House Price Index – with the city’s still-positive annual rate of home value growth slipping from double figures in May to 9% in June.
QV Nelson/Marlborough manager Craig Russell commented: “We’re seeing a more ‘traditional market’ now with purchasers being prudent and making offers subject to conditions, such as selling their house, and therefore sellers are having to lower their expectations and meet the market in order to sell.”
He said properties that need upgrading or have mitigating factors were being treated “more critically in this market” than they had been previously. “Softening market conditions has affected lower priced properties more profoundly, whereas quality properties in good locations remain sound with the higher end of the market performing better,” Mr Russell added.
Meanwhile, across the wider geographic area, the Tasman and Marlborough districts have now also joined Nelson in a general downward trajectory, with values falling by an average of 1.2% and 1.4% last month respectively.
Local property consultant Geoff Butterworth said the downturn has had the biggest effect on lower-valued properties typically targeted by first-home buyers and investors. “This reflects tight lending conditions, higher interest rates and removal of FOMO in this price bracket.”
“The QV stats show a very modest decrease in values for the region overall. Effectively it’s an evolving situation as there are so many factors at play in the economy, both positive and negative. It will be interesting to see if interest rate rises are near their peak,” Mr Butterworth added.
The West Coast is one of just a handful of regions to record net positive home value growth over the first six months of 2022.
But at just 0.6% growth since January, including a 7% drop in the most recent quarter, local QV registered valuer David Shaw said it was more than likely that the region would descend into negative home value growth in the coming months.
The latest figures mark what looks to be a turning point for the Westland and Buller Districts in particular, with values dropping this quarter by 7.5% and 9.5% respectively. Grey District fared slightly better this quarter but also experienced a 4.9% drop.
“With the rapid arrival of winter, sales volumes for the Grey and Westland Districts have reduced significantly – especially compared to the first three months of 2022. Activity in Buller has been similar this quarter to last, but with a larger proportion of sales in the lower value range, including several homes that were damaged in last year’s floods,” Mr Shaw said.
“The volume of vacant land sales on the West Coast has also declined during the last three months, which is another indication of the market cooling.”
Canterbury has recorded its first quarterly home value drop since before the Covid-19 pandemic began.
In the three months to the end of June, home values dropped by an average of 1.2% across the wider region, alongside declining home values in Hurunui (-0.3%), Christchurch (-1.7%), and Selwyn (-3.2%). It’s the first time since September 2019 that the region has recorded negative home value over a three-month period.
In the Garden City, values continue to be relatively more robust than in many of New Zealand’s other main urban centres, declining by 1.7% this quarter – far less than either Auckland or Wellington – and breaking even at precisely 0% growth for the calendar year. The average house value now sits at $783,764, with values holding better for existing lower to mid-range properties and ones located closer to Christchurch’s central city.
Local QV property consultant Olivia Brownie commented: “The Canterbury market appears to have reached a turning point, with another month of declining home values. We’d expect to see the current economic pressures continue to build, causing more declining home values in the short term due to increased costs and increasing interest rates.”
“Buyers’ price expectations have changed. They now have a range of choice compared to earlier in the year and are negotiating with vendors more. We expect the market to be subdued until interest rates stabilise and the market finds somewhat of a balance,” Miss Brownie added.
Home values continue to slide downward in Dunedin at a rate that is reflective of the national average.
Residential property values dropped 3.6% to a new average of $677,247 in the three months to the end of June – an increase from the 2.1% drop we reported last month – with net positive growth of just 0.9% over the last 12 months.
Local QV registered valuer Rebecca Johnston commented: “Demand for townhouses remains reasonably strong overall, with good demand from out-of-town investors. It’s a similar story with three-bedroom-plus dwellings, including ones with self-contained units or potential to convert. But land sales are low right now, with growing numbers of owners who purchased land last year now unable to afford to develop it.”
She said increasing interest rates, inflation and building costs had made the dream of building your own home less desirable for many people. “This lag probably won’t fully be realised by building companies while current construction projects are still being completed,” she added.
Once more, Queenstown has managed to bunk the downward trend that is occurring elsewhere.
Queenstown’s average home value increased by 1.9% this quarter to $1,690,835, with its 12 month average growth rate still sitting at a remarkable 21.9% – the most of any New Zealand city and well above the national average of 7.2%.
QV property consultant Greg Simpson commented: “Queenstown was adversely affected by lockdown, even more so than anywhere else. I suspect that because of this, it’s probably not as far along in the cycle as most other main centres, and despite a relatively bumper quarter, activity in the local residential property market will continue to slow and prices will likely fall as they have elsewhere. This is primarily due to rising interest rates and tightening credit conditions.”
All of Invercargill’s 2022 capital gains have now been wiped out following a three-month period that saw home values drop by an average of 2.4%.
The southern city’s average residential property value was the same at the end of June as it was at the start of the year, $486,732 – well below the national average ($1,011,188) but still 9.6% higher than at the same time last year.
Local QV registered valuer Andrew Ronald commented: “The latest QV House Price Index shows a slight reduction of Invercargill price levels for the third month running. This downward trend is most evident at the more affordable end of the property ladder, with limited numbers of investors and fewer first-home buyers active due to difficulties in obtaining suitable finance and rising interest rates.”
“But there remains a relatively good level of demand at the upper end of the market, including the lifestyle market, with a number of very large sales in recent months,” Mr Ronald added.
Provincial centres, North Island
As we reach the halfway point for the calendar year, Ōpōtiki (12.6%) stands head and shoulders above New Zealand’s other provincial centres when it comes to average home value growth over the first six months of the year. Stratford (8.3%), Kawerau (6.7%), South Taranaki (6.1%), and South Waikato (3.6%) round out the top five in the North Island.
Provincial centres, South Island
In the South Island, Waimate (8.3%) leads all other provincial centres in terms of average home value growth over the first six months of 2022. Its closest rivals are Waitaki (6.8%), Kaikoura (6.1%), Mackenzie District (5.8%), and Ashburton (5.4%).
Keep track of all home value movements via our interactive QV House Price Index.