Property values heat up in June quarter, driven by Auckland, Christchurch

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New Zealand property values grew at a faster pace in the June quarter as the country's two biggest cities continued to underpin the market.

Values rose 2.1 percent in the three months ended June, accelerating from a 0.7 percent three-monthly pace in May, according to state valuer Quotable Value. On an annual basis, the pace of property value gains continued to slow, rising at an 8 percent annual pace in June, and compared to an 8.2 percent in May. Values are still 15 percent above the previous peak of late 2007.

"The nationwide index is still increasing but the picture around the country is mixed," Andrea Rush, QV's national spokeswoman said in a statement. "Residential property values in Auckland and Christchurch are still increasing at a similar rate to what they were last June."

The Reserve Bank introduced loan-to-value mortgage lending restrictions on Oct. 1 last year on concern rapidly accelerating house prices in Auckland and Christchurch may lead to an asset bubble and cause financial instability. Property value growth had slowed earlier this year, and the central bank has hiked interest rates three times to cool the economy as inflation accelerates.

Today's figures showed the Auckland market increased by 12.3 percent year-on-year and values are up 31.4 percent since 2007. Values rose 2.7 percent in the past three months. Manukau East was the strongest performing part of Auckland, clocking up a 4.3 percent rise in the past three months. Waitakere values rose 2.3 percent.

Values in Wellington decreased 0.4 percent in the past three months, with the western suburbs falling 2.5 percent in the past three months.

Property values in Christchurch have increased 2.5 percent in the past three months and 7 percent year-on-year and are 21.1 percent above the peak of 2007. The Selwyn and southwest parts of the district are performing the best. Liquefaction was a problem on the eastern side of the city when earthquakes struck.

(BusinessDesk)


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