QV House Price Index, October 2022: Double-digit declines growing as 2022 ticks away
The list of towns, cities, and regions hitting double-digit home value declines in 2022 is growing, with Wellington (-17.6%) headlining a list of main centres that now also includes Auckland (-11.7%), Hamilton (-10.5%), Napier (-11.6%), Hastings (-11.5%), Palmerston North (-13.7%), and Dunedin (-10.4%).
The latest QV House Price Index shows the average home decreased in value by 3.9% over the three months to the end of October – an improvement on the 5.4% quarterly reduction reported at the end of September – with the national average now sitting at $951,040. That figure is 5.1% lower than the same time last year and now 9.7% lower than at the start of this calendar year.
QV Chief Operating Officer David Nagel commented: “The traditional spring upswing in the residential property market hasn’t amounted to much more than a small speed bump this time around, with few pockets of true home value growth to speak of, and only a relatively small decline in the market’s downward trajectory these past two months in a row.
“But we have certainly seen a seasonal surge in the number of properties coming on to the market, as spring is often seen as a good time to sell with longer days and summer looming large on the horizon. This has kept downward pressure on prices, especially as interest rates have also risen and are expected to climb further to stifle high inflation.”
The only exception to the rule is Queenstown, where home values increased 2.9% this quarter, with New Plymouth also all-but breaking even with a slight 0.1% reduction in average home value. All other main urban areas experienced declines of between 1.5% and 6.8%, with Wellington, Tauranga, and Hastings posting the largest declines in the three months to the end of October.
Across the Auckland region, the average value now sits at $1,348,213, falling 4.4% this quarter, which is a slight improvement on the 5.8% rate of negative home value growth reported in the previous three-month period. All bar one of the Super City’s seven former territorial authorities are now showing negative home value growth annually, with five out of seven also showing double-digit declines for the 2022 calendar year.
“This year couldn’t be much more different to the last one for much of Aotearoa New Zealand. At the same time last year, the QV House Price Index was showing an average home value increase of 22.2% throughout the first 10 months of 2021 – now it’s showing an average decline of 9.7% over the same period. I can’t think of two more starkly contrasting consecutive years in my long career as a registered property valuer,” Mr Nagel added.
“Though the average rate of decline has slowed somewhat in recent months, and it may even continue to slow as summer approaches, increasing volumes of listings are giving purchasers plenty of choice and the upper hand when it comes time to negotiate – and wIth interest rates trending upward, no-one is going to willingly service a larger mortgage than they have to. This will likely continue to have a dampening effect on the market for a good while yet.”
The Auckland region’s average rate of home value decline has now officially hit double figures for the 2022 calendar year.
The regional average is now a 11.7% decline in the 10 months to the end of October. Only Rodney (-7.2%) and Franklin (-8.9%) remain in single digit declines, with the largest average reductions occurring across Auckland’s central suburbs (-12.4%) on the North Shore (-12.1%), and out west in Waitakere (-11.9%).
Despite this, Auckland’s rate of home value decline actually slowed slightly this quarter, from 5.8% in the three months to the end of September to 4.4% in the three months to the end of October. That includes an average decline of 0.8% last month, which is 1% better than the month before.
Local QV valuer Hugh Robson commented: “Sale prices continue to fall – albeit at a slightly lower rate than the falls noted in August and September. The number of new residential listings in Auckland has also increased significantly during October, which is quite normal for this time of year.
“With interest rates continuing to creep up, putting large numbers of potential home buyers off, and an increasing number of new listings, the market may start summer with a flood of unsold stock. In fact, some agents continue to report having difficulty convincing sellers that the market is not what it was last year, meaning that their expectations are often well above the reality of the current market.”
October marks the sixth straight month of declining home values across the Northland region.
Residential property values have declined across the Northland region by an average of 3.5% so far this calendar year, including a reduction of 2.8% this quarter. It marks a slight improvement on the negative 3.7% quarterly home value growth rate we reported last month.
Whangarei (-4.1%) saw the biggest average declines in the three months since the end of July, with home values in Kaipara (-2.1%) and the Far North (-0.8%) holding up somewhat better. For comparison, home values declined by an average of 3.9% nationally this quarter.
Tauranga’s average rate of home value decline has slowed this quarter but it remains quicker than the national average.
The city’s average home value dropped 5.8% to $1,068,458 in the three months to the end of October 2022, which is an improvement on the 7.7% quarterly decline reported in last month’s QV House Price Index. Home values have fallen by an average of 3.9% nationally over the same period, with values down 5.1% nationally since the same time last year, compared to 4.1% in Tauranga.
QV property consultant Derek Turnwald commented: “Listing numbers are well above their 2020 and 2021 levels. They declined over the winter months and have begun to pick up again now, as they usually do in spring, when properties typically look better and the weather is more conducive to going to open homes.
“Prospective purchasers are taking longer to deliberate over purchases and there’s now much greater room to negotiate prices. Vendors are having to lower their expectations to meet the market, with demand for housing of all values generally subdued in comparison to previous highs.”
Hamilton’s 2022 rate of home value decline has hit double figures.
From 1 January until 31 October 2022, Hamilton’s average home value has declined by 10.5% to $824,593. That includes a quarterly decline of 3.9% over the three months to the end of October, which is a significant increase from the 2.5% quarterly decline we reported in the previous QV House Price Index.
Across the wider Waikato region, home values have experienced their first annual decline since February 2012. They are 0.4% lower than they were 12 months ago. Further declines look inevitable in the coming months, with just Waitomo and Otorohanga defying the downward trend this quarter.
Local QV registered valuer Tom Schicker commented: “Market sentiment remains largely negative – especially with no sign of interest rates easing in the near future and the cost of living continuing to increase with annual inflation at a 32 year high. The number of property listings are increasing with longer selling periods and with fewer buyers active in the market.”
Demand for residential property remains largely subdued in Rotorua – though the current downturn is providing some hope for first-home buyers.
The average home value has declined across the city by 3.6% this quarter to $681,955. It’s marginally better than the 4.1% quarterly decline reported in last month’s QV House Price Index and roughly in line with the national average over the past three months to the end of October (-3.9%).
Annually, home values have fallen by 5.4% since the same time last year, which includes an 8.8% drop for this calendar year.
Local QV property consultant Derek Turnwald commented: “A very tight labour market with high confidence of job stability and falling house values have given some first-home buyers renewed confidence that they’ll be able to get a foot on the property ladder. But it seems that investors are still waiting for lower prices.”
“Residential property value decreases have been more dramatic than after the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, with interest rates stable at that time. The declines we’ve seen this year are likely to continue for longer, with the value decline likely to be even greater,” Mr Turnwald added.
Taranaki’s residential property market largely managed to hold its own this quarter.
In the three months to the end of October, home values declined slightly in New Plymouth (-0.1%) and Stratford (-0.6%), and actually increased in South Taranaki (0.6%).
The region’s annual home value growth remains positive at 5.4% – a stark contrast to the national average, which is a 5.1% decline over the past 12 months. The average home value is currently $742,483 in New Plymouth, $497,004 in Stratford, and $469,899 in South Taranaki.
Home values have dropped across the Hawke’s Bay region for the eighth straight month.
Hastings held its own in October, breaking its own eight-month streak of negative home value growth. But its average home value ($816,213) is still 11.5% lower than at the start of this calendar year, including a 6% decline this quarter.
Neighbouring Napier’s average home value has declined by 11.6% since the start of 2022, including 5.3% this quarter, and 1.6% last month. It’s a similar story in Wairoa, where home values have fallen by an average of 13.4% this year; Central Hawke’s Bay has shown more resilience, with values falling 6% in 10 months.
Local QV registered valuer Damien Hall commented: “It feels like we’re in a bit of a stabilising phase now. Some pockets are still moderately strong, but the majority are not. Purchasers have all the negotiating power currently. With interest rates looking set to rise further, it’s really going to start to bite severely for many – but especially those who purchased at or around the peak in the market.”
Palmerston North’s average home value has fallen to just over $660,000. It follows nine consecutive months of negative home value growth across the city.
From 1 January until the end of October 2022, the city’s average house value has fallen by 13.7%, including 5.5% this quarter, and 1% last month. For comparison, the national average home value has fallen 9.7% this year, 3.9% this quarter, and 0.6% last month.
Local QV registered valuer Olivia Betts commented: “We’re seeing sizable reductions in asking prices and properties sitting on the market for prolonged periods. This is occurring right across the market, in all price brackets. Buyers continue to have plenty of choice as they try and guess when the market will bottom out, which doesn’t look to be a while yet.”
The seasonal spring upswing in the residential property market has been subtle at best this year in Wellington.
Home values have fallen by an average of 6.8% across the wider Wellington region this quarter – a marked improvement on the 9.6% QV reported at the end of September but still a significantly larger decline than the national average of 3.9%.
Hutt City (-8.8%) and Upper Hutt (-7.6%) posted the largest average home value losses this quarter, with the average home value in the region now sitting at $894,913 – 16.3% lower than at the end of October last year.
Local QV senior consultant David Cornford commented: “Values continue to slide in the Wellington region and further declines are expected as interest rates continue to rise. There’s plenty of stock on the market for buyers to contemplate and it’s unlikely that these levels will decrease anytime soon, meaning supply will continue to outstrip demand for some time.
“Sales volumes have also been sluggish. Given the high level of uncertainty in the market, we’re seeing a number of players just sitting on the side lines taking a wait-and-see approach to their property decisions.”
“Home owners who are in a hurry, or are under pressure to sell, are the most vulnerable to taking a hit in the current market,” Mr Cornford added.
Nelson property values appear to have stabilised over the past month.
The city’s average home value fell 3.4% this quarter – a significant improvement on the 7% average home value reduction in the September quarter – and even posted a small amount of growth in October of 1.3%.
QV Nelson/Marlborough manager Craig Russell said real estate agents were reporting an increase in open home attendance in recent weeks. “However, we are seeing entry level properties being treated more critically in the market, given they’re generally catering to the first-home buyer and investor market, which usually has a greater reliance on bank funding.
“The condition of a property has become more important with modern or well-renovated properties seemingly attracting potential purchasers, while dated houses are being discounted due to the significant costs involved in upgrading. Properties in the $1.2-1.7m price bracket appear to be the best performing sector, possibly due to potential purchasers being owner-occupiers and having less reliance on bank funding as a result.”
Mr Russell said demand for house-and-land packages was continuing to wane due primarily to increasing construction costs. “The move away from fixed-price contracts and delays in receiving title to the land is deterring some purchasers, he added.
Home values dropped across the West Coast region by 0.8% this quarter.
The average home value in Buller fell 0.9% to $325,806 in the three months to the end of October, with Westland experiencing a larger drop, falling 3.3% to $397,309. Grey District, meanwhile, posted a small increase of 1% to $368,366.
At 0.8% positive home value growth for the calendar year – down from 1.9% last month – the West Coast still remains the last region in Aotearoa-New Zealand still showing net positive growth from 1 January to 31 October 2022, but those days look numbered.
QV West Coast manager David Shaw commented: “The Buller results are being influenced by Westport, where most recent sales are in the lower range. The market has been stronger in the lifestyle areas outside the town, with no flooding issues and several sales in the upper value range.”
“Houses have generally been selling quickly in Greymouth and Hokitika, with several sales in the upper value range. Vacant land sales continue to show significant increases in value levels from a relatively low base throughout the region.”
“Affordability is a major positive for the region with a high percentage of purchasers being from outside the region,” Mr Shaw added.
The QV House Price Index recorded another “soft decline” in house values last month in Canterbury.
Values fell by an average of 0.5% across the wider region in October, with the rolling three-monthly rate of decline decreasing from an average of 2.3% to 1.7% – considerably better than the national average, which was a 3.9% decline for the October quarter. The largest declines this quarter were in Hurunui (-3.2%) and Selwyn (-2.4%).
In the Garden City, house values went down 0.7% last month, which was a further decrease from the 0.6% decline recorded back in September. They remain in the black at 3.9% net positive growth over the past 12 months, despite falling to a 3.2% decline for the 2022 calendar year.
Local QV property consultant Olivia Brownie commented: “Home buyers are still active despite higher interest rates and weaker market conditions. The Reserve Bank's announcement to increase the Official Cash Rate for the eighth consecutive time and higher than expected inflation in the September quarter is no doubt going to have an effect on the property market and buyer sentiment, placing a brake on housing demand and price.
“To date, the Canterbury market downturn has not gained momentum irrespective of the aggressive hikes in interest rates over recent months, as it has elsewhere in New Zealand, but the risk remains. In the meantime, Christchurch’s lower values in comparison to other large NZ city’s continues to keep some upward pressure, effectively offsetting any significant downturn to date.”
Dunedin’s rate of home value decline hit a small speed bump in October.
The average home value in the city experienced a marginal increase of 0.6% in October to $650,227, breaking a nine-month consecutive streak of declining home values. However, values remain 1.5% lower this quarter, and 10.4% lower than at the start of 2022.
Local QV registered valuer Rebecca Johnston commented: “While Dunedin’s upturn in property values in recent years didn’t see the same level of significant growth that Wellington and Auckland experienced, the downturn means that there will be less buyers from late 2021 in negative equity compared with these larger cities.”
“Market rents remain strong while there continues to be a shortage of rental properties. With housing continuing to remain unaffordable, rental returns are expected to continue to stay strong,” Miss Johnston added.
Queenstown stands alone once more as the only one of New Zealand’s main centres to record positive home value growth for the quarter.
The latest QV House Price Index shows the average home value in Queenstown actually increased by 2.9% this quarter to $1,700,421. The tourist town is still showing positive home value growth of 4.9% for the 2022 calendar year – a stark contrast to an average decline nationally of 9.7%.
QV property consultant Greg Simpson commented: “The 2022 ski season delivered one of the best seasons on record. Destination Queenstown data shows that visitors stayed longer and visitor expenditure increased compared to pre-Covid levels. The rest of the district appears to be operating at near normal activity levels.
“Property market conditions, however, are currently subject to high potential for change and market uncertainty. We note that there is currently reduced sales volumes and tapering but still positive value growth for residential property. With inflation now becoming more entrenched, further interest rate rises are expected from the major lenders, which will continue to have a cooling effect on the housing market.”
The average home value in New Zealand’s southernmost city has experienced its sixth drop within the last seven months.
Invercargill’s average residential property value is now $473,376, dropping from a peak in March of $498,473. That figure is still 0.6% higher than the same time last year, but has dropped 2.8% in 2022, including by 1.8% this quarter.
Local QV registered valuer Andrew Ronald commented: “There’s still much less demand now compared to late 2021 and early this year. This is particularly evident for entry-level housing where there are now limited investors and fewer first-home buyers looking to purchase. This is due to difficulties in obtaining suitable finance, rising interest rates, and the increasing cost of living.”
Mackenzie (6.5%) and Ruapehu (6.1%) head a shrinking list of 21 districts across Aotearoa that still have net positive home value growth to show for the first nine months of 2022.
Outside of the main urban centres, the largest home value reductions this calendar year have occurred in Carterton (-14%), Kapiti Coast (-13.7%), and Wairoa (-13.4%).
You can now view and keep track of all these value movements and more via our interactive QV House Price Index.