QV House Price Index, September 2022: Latest housing figures mark NZ’s first annual decline since 2011
New Zealand’s average home value has recorded its first annual reduction in more than a decade.
The latest QV House Price Index shows that home values have slipped by an average of 2.1% nationwide in the 12 months to the end of September 2022. It’s the first annual home value reduction since June 2011, and marks nine straight months of declining home values nationally.
The average home decreased in value by 5.4% nationally over the past three-month period to the end of September, just 0.1% better than the rate of quarterly decline reported at the end of August, with the national average value now sitting at $956,592. That figure is 9.2% lower than at the start of this calendar year.
QV General Manager David Nagel commented: “The Reserve Bank’s decision last week to raise the Official Cash Rate (OCR) by another 50 points all-but ensures that the path we’re on will continue for the foreseeable future. Interest rate rises, credit constraints, the increasing cost of living – it’s a sure-fire recipe for declining home values. Plus there’s still new houses coming onto the market up and down the country, putting further downward pressure on prices almost everywhere.”
“This will be worrying news for people looking to sell their homes, as well as those who purchased at the peak of the market now concerned about negative equity. The exceptional house price increases throughout 2020 and 2021 have impacted affordability and impeded access to the property market for most New Zealanders. This market correction, as painful as it is for some, will hopefully afford others an opportunity to get into the market in the future. Though it’s still very tough out there for prospective first-home buyers, they’re now gaining the upper hand when it comes to negotiations.”
Across the main centres, Queenstown once again stands alone with 0.2% quarterly home value growth, with all others continuing to succumb to tight credit conditions and rising interest rates. The Wellington region’s rate of quarterly home value decline almost hit double figures at 9.6% last month, with Tauranga – one of a number of cities to also hit negative annual home value growth this month – its nearest competitor at 7.7%.
In the Auckland region, the average value now sits at $1,358,710, falling 5.8% over the last three-month period, with annual growth also descending into negative territory at 2.4%, down from 1.1% annual home value growth reported in the last QV House Price Index. More than half of the Super City’s districts are also now showing negative home value growth annually.
Of Aotearoa’s largest cities, Christchurch’s residential housing market continues to demonstrate a greater degree of resilience than either Auckland or Wellington, with its annual rate of home value growth still looking comparatively rosy at positive 8.8%. The Garden City’s average home value has reduced by 2.5% this quarter to $764,150.
“The usual spring bounce in activity in the residential property market hasn’t eventuated to the same degree as it has in previous years, but there are still plenty of active buyers out there, and deals are being done despite so much uncertainty. Large volumes of listings are giving purchasers plenty of choice and negotiating power, but it certainly looks as though sellers may still be in for a rough ride yet,” Mr Nagel added.
Home values have declined by an average of 2.4% across the wider Auckland region in the 12 months to the end of September 2022.
It follows eight straight months of negative home value growth, including by an average of 5.8% in the most recent quarter – the same amount of negative home value growth QV reported last month – with the average home value in the region now sitting at $1,358,710.
Every Auckland district recorded negative home value growth this quarter, with Rodney (-6.9%), Auckland city (-6.6%) and Waitakere (-6%) experiencing the largest declines in the three months since the end of June this year.
Rodney (2.6%), Papakura (3%) and Franklin (4.7%) are still showing net positive home value growth over the past 12 months, with central Auckland (-5.4%), Waitakere (-4.4%), North Shore (-3.2%), and Manukau (-0.9%) now in negative territory.
Local QV valuer Hugh Robson commented: “There has been a slight increase in market activity during September. Agents report an increase in the number of people attending auctions and a slight improvement in auction results. However, high stock levels remain in the Auckland market, giving buyers plenty of choice and restricting price movement.
“Many properties continue to be advertised with an actual asking price, with first-home buyers continuing to make up a large percentage of buyers. Auckland Council also reports a continued high number of building consents being approved, especially for high density housing developments. This indicates a high number of new build developments coming onto the market over the next 1-2 years.”
September marks the fifth straight month of declining home values across the Northland region.
Residential property values have declined across the Northland region by an average of 2.7% so far this calendar year, including a reduction of 3.7% this quarter. It marks a slight improvement on the negative 4.1% quarterly home value growth rate we reported last month.
Whangarei (-5.3%) and Kaipara (-4.1%) saw the biggest average declines in the three months since the end of June, with values demonstrating more resilience in the Far North district (-0.9%). In fact, in Aotearoa’s northernmost district, home values have only dropped by an average of 0.4% this calendar year, compared to 9.2% nationally.
Tauranga has joined a growing list of New Zealand cities with negative annual home value growth.
It’s the first time since September 2011 that Tauranga has recorded negative annual growth, with the latest QV figures showing that home values dropped by an average of 1% in the 12 months to the end of September 2022, including a 7.7% loss in the most recent quarter.
Tauranga’s average home value is now $1,078,431 – still well above the national average home value, which is $956,592.
QV property consultant Derek Turnwald commented: “Tauranga is still the least affordable city in New Zealand for housing in comparison to average wages. Even Aucklanders appear to be moving back to purchasing in their own market again, instead of purchasing here, as their market is gradually becoming more affordable again.
“Locally, many prospective buyers appear to still be holding off from making property purchases unless they find a property which is high in desirability or appears to be good value for money. Demand for housing of all values has declined as a result, with many vendors also withdrawing from the market and renting the property or remaining in the property until the market recovers.”
“Economists are predicting that market values will make a slow recovery as they did post GFC. It seems that it will take people a while to gain confidence in the market again,” Mr Turnwald added.
Hamilton has slipped into negative annual home value growth for the first time in more than a decade.
The city’s average home value has dropped by 2.4% to $841,089 in the 12 months to the end of September 2022, including a 2.5% reduction in the most recent quarter. It’s the first time since August 2011 that the QV House Price Index has shown an average decline in home value in Hamilton over a year-long period.
Local QV registered valuer Tom Schicker commented: “With interest rates continuing to increase, the median house price in Hamilton is continuing to decline. Agents are confirming a slowing market with longer selling periods and sales volumes decreasing, with far fewer sales recorded during September this year, compared to the same time last year.”
Meanwhile, home values are also down by an average of 3% across the wider Waikato region this quarter, down from the 2.4% quarterly decline QV reported last month.
Rotorua has just recorded negative annual home value growth for the first time since January 2015.
It joins a growing list of New Zealand main centres to do so this year – including Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Napier, Hastings, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, and Dunedin – with the latest QV House Price Index figures showing an average reduction in home value of 0.4% since the end of September last year.
Rotorua’s average home value is now $694,876, which is 4.1% lower than it was three months ago, and 7.1% lower than at the start of this calendar year.
Local QV property consultant Derek Turnwald commented: “Demand for residential property remains subdued generally, although it appears to be slightly better in the higher valued suburbs. Open home attendance continues to improve as the weather gets warmer, but auction attendance appears to have declined further, indicating that sale by auction is probably not the best choice at present.
“First-home buyers are showing renewed interest in the local market despite increasing interest rates and difficulties obtaining finance. A very tight labour market with high confidence of job stability and falling house values have given first home buyers renewed confidence, while investors appear to still be waiting for lower prices.”
Taranaki’s declining property market experienced a speed bump in September, with home values increasing by an average of 0.4%.
It follows four months of declining average home values across the region, with houses in New Plymouth (-1.2%), Stratford (-5.4%), and especially South Taranaki (-9.8%) all losing value this quarter.
New Plymouth’s average home value is still looking relatively robust compared to New Zealand’s other main centres at $737,606. That figure is 6.9% higher than the same time last year, compared to an average annual decline of 2.1% nationally – and only 1.4% lower than the start of this calendar year, compared to a national average decline of 9.2% since 1 January 2022.
Home values continue to decline across the Hawke’s Bay region at a steady clip.
The QV House Price Index for September shows the average home value reduced by 5.4% to $802,980 this quarter in Napier, and by 6.8% to $816,379 in neighbouring Hastings.
In terms of annual growth, both cities are tracking downward quicker than the national average (-2.1%), with home values declining by 6.2% in Napier and 4.4% in Hastings. Across the wider region, only Wairoa is showing positive annual home value growth on average – and only just at 1.7%.
Local QV registered valuer Damien Hall commented: “These are fairly substantial drops when you consider that both Napier and Hastings were sitting at over $900,000 at the peak of the market. Evidence would suggest the downturn still has a way to go yet, and given the inflated prices we saw throughout 2021, this was probably to be expected.
“The reserve bank has yet again increased the OCR a further 50 basis points to 3.5%, which is the highest level in seven years. Interest rate rises will be a major concern for many homeowners, and especially the buyers who paid a premium for property at the peak of the market, before prices began to fall.”
Mr Hall said activity at the top end of the market had “slowed significantly”, with values “well and truly on the decline”, while the lower quartile had recently seen an upsurge in activity. “First-home buyers and investors are starting to re-enter the market now, even as banks remain fairly tight on lending. It seems some people are still eager to buy now, in order to lock in relatively low interest rates, as there’s still uncertainty around how high they will eventually go.”
Palmerston’s North’s rate of negative home value growth has hit double figures for the year.
From 1 January until the end of September 2022, the city’s average house value has dipped 12.8% to $670,302. Its annual rate of negative home value growth has also increased from 7.3% in the 12 months to the end of August, to 10.5% in the 12 months to the end of September.
Local QV senior property consultant Olivia Betts commented: “Palmerston North’s average home value has fallen well below $700,000 now, following eight consecutive months of negative home value growth across the city.
“We’re seeing reductions in asking prices and properties on the market for prolonged periods. We’re seeing this decline in property prices 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.”
“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.
The Wellington region experienced another “notable decline” in September, with home values falling by an average of 3.1%.
The wider Wellington region’s annual rate of negative home value growth is well into double figures now at 14.2%, with its quarterly rate of decline also very nearly hitting double figures at 9.6%. The average home value ($903,259) is now 16.9% lower than at the start of this calendar year.
Local QV registered valuer Blake Ngarimu said Lower Hutt had experienced the “most substantial hit” since the start of 2022, with the average home value falling by 19.6%. It was followed closely by Upper Hutt and Wellington, down 19% and 17.3% respectively.
“Home values across the region experienced another notable decline last month. But while the numbers may appear bleak to those who are looking to sell in the near future, transactions continue to take place where prices have met the market. However, high listing volumes also continue to provide purchasers with plenty of choice and negotiating power.”
Nelson’s average home value looks increasingly likely to dip below $800,000 in the coming weeks.
The average house has reduced in value by 7% this quarter to precisely $800,424, with its annual rate of negative home value growth now sitting at 3.2%.
QV Nelson/Marlborough manager Craig Russell said the local property market was continuing to “soften”, particularly for properties under $1,000,000. “Well located and well presented, modern or renovated homes are more in demand right now. Vendors have become more realistic with price expectations, as new listings continue to outstrip demand.”
“We’re seeing a much more traditional property market now with conditional contracts and extended selling periods. The length of time a property takes to sell is in part being influenced by ‘in chain’ sale situations whereby the purchase of one home is contingent upon the sale of another.”
“Market confidence is being impacted by purchasers' expectations that mortgage rates will need to rise further in order to keep inflation under control,” Mr Russell added.
The West Coast is the last region still showing net positive home value growth in 2022.
However, at just 1.9% average growth in the nine months to the end of September, the West Coast still looks likely to succumb to the same economic pressures that have driven home values downward nationally by an average of 9.2% this calendar year.
The QV House Price Index for September shows a considerable amount of positive home value growth this quarter in Buller District (4.6%), with Grey District also seeing a small amount of positive growth (0.8%) and Westland seeing a small drop (-1.4%).
However, QV West Coast manager David Shaw warned that the region’s sales volumes had “reduced significantly” and that the statistics were prone to larger-than-usual fluctuations as a result.
“Agents report that the houses are generally selling fairly quickly. Vacant land sales throughout the region are also still showing a significant increase in value levels from a relatively low base. The average house price for all three West Coast districts is still the lowest in New Zealand, so affordability is a major positive for the region. The rural economy is also strong with high dairy returns and increased mining activity.”
Home values continue to decline in Canterbury – albeit relatively slowly.
The region’s average rate of home value decline is glacial by national standards, with the latest QV House Price Index recording just a 1.1% decline for the calendar year, a 2.3% decline this quarter, and a 0.6% decline last month. For comparison, the national average is a 9.2% decline in 2022, a 5.4% decline this quarter, and a 1.8% decline in September.
In Christchurch, the average home value reduced by 0.6% last month to $764,150, marking five straight months of negative growth. Its southern suburbs have seen the biggest reductions this quarter at 5.8% on average, followed closely by the central city at 5.5%. Homes in the hills broke even throughout the three months of the end of September, neither increasing nor decreasing in value.
Local QV property consultant Olivia Brownie commented: “While Christchurch’s average rate of home value declines has slowed these past two months, we’re still facing much uncertainty in the market. There were less sales overall, with rising costs and interest rates slowing property market activity altogether.
“However, a slow in activity does not appear to be affecting house prices significantly with the market sustaining market value levels in most property types. We have seen the lower quartile house values increase, in comparison to a slight decline for the upper quartile, which can be attributed to the first home buyer market starting to pick up. This is helping to support value growth and removing any speed in property value decline for the city.”
The average rate of home value decline slowed in Dunedin last month.
The latest QV House Price Index shows the city’s average home value ($646,228) reduced by 4.6% this quarter, and by 0.7% in September – an improvement on respective losses of 6.7% and 1.4% reported last month. The average decrease for the 2022 year to date is now precisely 11%.
Local QV registered valuer Rebecca Johnston commented: “Home values at the upper level of the market continue to hold up well, as evidenced with the smallest value decline occurring on the peninsula, coast and in Taieri for the year, with south Dunedin continuing to show the greatest drop in value for the calendar year.”
“The number of sales continues to decrease overall for a quarterly trend, while current sales listings are creeping up to the levels we saw at the start of the year, indicating a continuing imbalance between supply and demand. But real estate agents will be starting to feel more positive as we come into what is typically a busier season for buying and selling.”
Home values continue to buck the national trend up in Queenstown.
The latest QV House Price Index shows the average home value in Queenstown actually increased by 0.2% this quarter to $1,694,137. It was the only one of New Zealand’s main centres to do so.
Annually, local home values remain 11.6% higher than the same time last year, and 4.5% higher than at the start of this calendar year. Once more, it’s a stark contrast to the national average ($956,592), which is 2.1% lower than the same time last year, and 9.2% lower than at the start of the year.
Invercargill’s rate of home value decline hit a small speed bump in September.
The average home value in New Zealand’s southernmost city experienced a marginal increase of 0.2% in September to $474,975. It breaks a five-month trend of declining home values, with Invercargill’s average annual rate of growth still positive at 3.2%, even as the national average descends into negative territory for the first time in more than a decade.
Local QV registered valuer Andrew Ronald commented: “There is 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.”
The number of New Zealand towns and cities with net positive home value growth throughout the first eight months of 2022 is shrinking every month, with none now showing growth in double figures.
The top 10 districts with the most home value growth from 1 January until the end of September 2022 are as follows: Ruapehu (7.1%), Central Otago (6.5%), Kaikoura (6.1%), Mackenzie (6%), Waimate (5.5%), Hurunui (5.4%), Buller (4.6%), Queenstown (4.5%), Opotiki (4.4%), and Timaru (4%).
Besides the urban centres of Wellington (-16.9%) and Palmerston North (-12.8%), the largest average home value reductions since the start of 2022 have occurred in Rangitikei (-13.2%), Carterton (-12.8%), and Wairoa (-12.7%).
You can now view and keep track of all these value movements and more via our interactive QV House Price Index.