NZ Herald business editor at large

Home values fall in posh Auckland suburbs: QV

The housing market is cooling nationwide as growth for the year to May dips below 10 per cent for the first time since 2015, according to statistics from Quotable Value.

The data shows values in Auckland's affluent eastern suburbs have declined in the past three months.

The monthly QV House Price Index shows New Zealand's residential property values increased 9.7 per cent a year but just 0.4 per cent in the past three months.

The slowdown was more acute in Auckland and Christchurch where values were flat or down slightly for the quarter.

Meanwhile, values in Wellington, Tauranga, Whangarei, Rotorua and Queenstown continued to climb, lifting the national average.

"Nationwide value growth continues to ease back due to lower demand in the housing market caused by the latest round of LVR restrictions and tougher lending criteria from the banks as we head into the winter period," QV spokeswoman Andrea Rush said.

"Sales volumes are lower than they were this time last year particularly in Auckland and its possible market activity may now remain more subdued until after the election."

In the Auckland region annual growth was still 9.3 per cent but QV's data showed that figure was being flattered by growth in the first few months of the 12-month period.

Growth in most parts of Auckland peaked around September or October last year and has been flat ever since.

Values north of the city were faring best. Rodney rose 3.9 per cent in the past three months and was up 15.5 per cent year-on-year.

But in the past three months values dropped by 1.1 per cent in the Eastern suburbs - including St Johns, Meadowbank, Glen Innes, Point England, Orakei, Kohimarama, Mission Bay, Ellerslie, Greenlane and Stonefields.

"We are seeing a return to more 'normal' market conditions currently in the Auckland market," said QV Auckland homevalue manager James Steele.

"Record prices are still being achieved for well-positioned and well-maintained properties, but where the property doesn't meet those criteria, sellers may have to settle for a lower price than they may have achieved mid-last year," Steele said.

"We are also seeing vendors who are willing to withdraw their properties from the market if they do not achieve the price offer they are wanting."

Steele noted that investors were less active now in some areas.

"Entry-level homes in South Auckland suburbs such as Mangere, Papakura and Manurewa where you can still find a property for under $650,000 are being sold mostly to first-home buyers with investors no longer very active in this part of the market."

The average value for the Auckland region was now $1,044,561 and values were now on average 91.1 per cent higher than the previous peak of 2007. When adjusted for inflation values rose 7 per cent over the past year and are 44 per cent above the 2007 peak.

Meanwhile, realestate.co.nz reports that there is 50 per cent more housing stock on the market in Auckland now than at this time last year.

An increase in the number of homes available in Auckland was good news for buyers, said realestate.co.nz spokeswoman Vanessa Taylor.

"The cumulative effect means that potential buyers are more likely to be able to find a house they want, with more choices on offer and less competitive pressure than we saw in 2016."

- NZ Herald

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