Swanky Auckland suburbs suffer fastest house price fall - QV data

Some of Auckland's swankiest areas suffered the biggest dip in price over the past year, according to new data.

While national house values rose 1.2 per cent in the last three months, Quotable Value data shows that the increase wasn't uniform across the board.

Values in the highly coveted ex-Auckland City Council central suburbs dropped 1 per cent annually and 0.1 per cent in the past three months to hit $1,233,311, Waitakere values decreased by 0.2 per cent annually and 0.2 per cent in the past three months, Manukau rose 1.2 per cent annually and 0.9 per cent lately, Papakura rose 0.6 per cent annually and 0.2 per cent lately to reach an average $701,230 and Franklin and Rodney were both up 1.1 per cent annually.

Auckland values rose only 0.1 per cent in the three months to December to reach an average $1,048,145 and QV Auckland consultant Hugh Robson said: "Well-presented properties close to services and amenities are continuing to sell well. Investor demand appears to remain fairly steady although possibly it's eased back over the past few months."

Overall, the data showed a flat market lately, influenced by the holiday period and although QV general manager David Nagel says that could change, the growth won't be outstanding.

"There have been no dramatic changes to values over the past month, which is a likely result of the holiday season which generally sees less market buoyancy," he said.

QV consultants expected the market to bounce back in the coming weeks when the peak holiday period ends. LVR restrictions were loosened from January 1 which would also enable new buyers to enter the market, he said.

Nagel predicted that from January to March, the market would move "but in terms of value increase, I don't think we're going to see anything spectacular, perhaps not even in the 1 per cent range."

Regions would perform better than the main centres "where there's just been nothing there. They're just dead in the water. You'll see the regional areas plateau as well, so then it would be more provincial areas like Whangarei and Palmerston North which have some growth. Because they're smaller centres, it will water down the overall increase," Nagel said.

The strong regional trend had already taken shape in the latest data.

Tauranga values were up 1.6 per cent to $720,645, Hamilton values fell 0.2 per cent to hit $570,886, Hastings rose 7.4 per cent, Wellington 3.2 per cent, Christchurch 0.5 per cent, Queenstown Lakes 2 per cent and Dunedin 3.5 per cent.

Barfoot & Thompson released data on January 7, saying that for the first time in a decade Auckland had moved into price decline territory. Prices fell 0.8 per cent from January 2017 to January 2018 to reach a median $836,792, Barfoot & Thompson said.

The foreign buyer ban, volatility in major Australian cities, the prospect of capital gains tax being introduced and concerns over world economic stability were factors that agency said had influenced the market.

The agency said it sells one in every three Auckland homes, putting it well ahead of its competitors.

Unlike Australia

OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said while buyers were less active during the December and January holiday period, the fact that sales prices were holding indicated the major factors determining prices were constrained supply, strong demand and historically low interest rates.

"Auckland's property market has barely shifted in the last 12 months. For many suburbs in the city, where they are now is where they were 12 months ago - give or take a percentage point or two.

He cited Valocity figures that showed a drop in the percentage of properties that sold for less than $750,000 - shrinking to 32.5 per cent of all sales for the period.

"And although there is weakness in the main urban centres, it is not comparable to the turmoil in the Australian market.

"The factors at play across the Tasman are particular to Australia - such as oversupply and difficulties in the lending market.

Valocity director of valuation innovation James Wilson said the drivers supporting value growth in New Zealand were still evident.

These included a shortage of good quality housing stock on the market and demand fuelled by a historically low interest rate environment.

"Whilst it's still too early to assess the impact of the recently loosened LVR restrictions, we would expect this to benefit certain buyer types, namely first-home buyers and investors who may now be able to secure a mortgage with a lower deposit."

He added: "With the housing market awaiting the final recommendations of the tax working group, implementation of healthy homes legislation changes and the 'ring fencing' of losses from investment properties, there is still evidence of a 'wait and see' approach among many buyer groups."

This story was originally published here

OneRoofJustin Flitter