Values rising, but QV says it's not a housing boom

Even as prices begin to nudge the 2007 peak, QV says it is not a boom.

Auckland and Christchurch have experienced some of the fastest growing house prices.

Wellington stands out as an exception to the rising values around the country, most probably because of state sector job losses.

The Waimakariri and Selwyn Districts continue to increase in value faster than anywhere else in the country. Waimakariri is up 13.4% over the past year and 12.2% above the 2007 peak, and Selwyn is up 12.2% over the past year and is 11.1% above peak.

These districts have benefitted from relocations from Christchurch and Selwyn is the centre of an area of dairying expansion.

QV’s residential property index shows a rise in values of 1.8% over the past three month, 4.2% up over the past year, and are 1.3% below the market peak of late 2007.

However, the figures compiled by QV and the monthly Real Estate Institute figures do not account for inflation.

Inflation-adjusted figures would place the current market prices at around 13% below the previous peak.

Nor do the figures reflect affordability, which has improved until this month because of low interest rates and slightly higher earnings. research director Jonno Ingerson says new listings coming on to the market have slowed considerably in recent months,  meaning less choice for potential purchasers.

He predicts sales activity is likely to slow in coming months until the number of properties for sale increases, “which typically will occur in spring”.

Mr Ingerson echoed the Real Estate Institute in his assessment that New Zealand is not experiencing a boom.

Nationwide, the number of sales is still around a third below peak levels, and over the past year values have increased only one-third as quickly as they did in the boom years of 2003-07, he says.

Values in the wider Auckland area are up 5.9% over the past year, but recent months have seen more rapid growth with values up 1% over the past month and up 2.6% over the past three months.

Values are increasing the fastest in the old Auckland city, up 6.8% over the past year, followed by 5.6% in North Shore and Manukau.

Hamilton values rose 1.7% over the past three months and are 2.9% higher than the same time last year. In contrast to Auckland, values in Hamilton remain 9.5% below the 2007 market peak.

Tauranga prices continued a gradual increase, up 1% over the past three months and 2.1% above the same time last year.

Wellington values increased over the past year by 1.4%, more modest than the other main centres. Values have been flat or decreased slightly in the past few months in the cities across the Wellington area, as concern around public service restructuring continues to dampen confidence.

Values in the Wellington areas are 5.8% below the previous market peak.

Prices in Christchurch have risen 5.8% in 12 months and 1.3% over the past three months to sit 1.5% above the previous market peak of late 2007 (before adjusted for inflation).

Values in Dunedin have been variable over the past few months but are now 2.8% above the same time last year and 4.3% below the 2007 peak.