BUSINESSDESK: The pace of annual gains in the value of houses crept higher in April amid strong recent sales activity.
National property values were 3.1% higher than a year ago at April 30, up from 3% at the end of March, and are now 2.9% off the market peak in 2007, government valuer Quotable Value said.
Values rose 0.4% over a rolling three-month period, down from 0.5% in the three months ended March 31.
"Some of the increase in activity has been due to an increase in confidence amongst home buyers, releasing some of the pent-up demand caused by several years of lower than usual sales activity," QV valuer Glenda Whitehead said.
"Sales activity will slow down a little over winter, but the increased confidence in the property market is likely to carry through into spring."
New Zealand's property market has been on the rise this year after stalling through 2011, when potential buyers shied away from taking on too much debt and sellers were unwilling to accept cheaper prices.
Ms Whitehead said Auckland's property market is mixed, with a buyer's financial position a "key driver for whether prices in suburbs are rising or remaining stable".
Auckland values rose 0.6% in the three months ended April 30, with an average sale price of $523,518. Values are up 5% on an annual basis.
In Wellington, they fell 0.6%, with an average price of $443,070. Values rose 0.6% over the year.
The average sale price in Christchurch was $382,907, with values up 4.8% on the year.
Dunedin property values fell 1% in the quarter at an average sale price at $265,099. Values have gained an annual 2.7%.