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Property values higher in September, recovering post-GFC loss

BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand property values extended their gains last month, recovering the losses seen after the global financial crisis and the bursting of the country's housing bubble, government valuer Quotable Value says.

However, values are still 12% below the peak after accounting for inflation.

National property values rose 1.8% in the three months ended September 30 and are up 5.3% on an annual basis, edging above the 2007 peak in late 2007.

"The number of sales in the last few months is higher than in 2010 and 2011, the years since the global financial crisis have been characterised by very low activity," QV research director Jonno Ingerson says.

"There is a lack of listings in many areas, particularly Auckland, which is also likely to be constraining sales numbers."

The official government figures come out after Real Estate Institute data yesterday showed the volume of sales and median sale price continued to rise last month in the face of a listings shortage.

Massey University data today showed an improvement in national housing affordability, though Auckland's market was becoming more unaffordable.

"In general, buyers are acting carefully, doing their research and not overpaying," Mr Ingerson says. "This is despite the lack of listings, which would ordinarily mean increased competition and prices."

QV's figures showed property values rose 2.8% in Auckland over a rolling three-month period ended September 30, for an annual gain of 7.2%. The average sale price rose to $575,797 in the September quarter.

Property values were little changed in Wellington in the quarter, and are up 2.3% on the year. Hamilton values rose an annual 4.1% and were up 1.3% in the three-month period, while Tauranga property was flat in the quarter and up 1.1% on the year.

Christchurch values rose 1.8% in the three months and are up 6.6% on the year, while in Dunedin they advanced 2% in the quarter for an annual gain of 5.1%.

Meanwhile, online auction site Trade Me today published figures showing a 4% fall in demand for rental properties, even as supply rose 8% and prices rose 3%.

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