House values fell further in June with buyers remaining selective and cautious, government valuer QV says.
Its monthly report on residential property prices shows nationwide values 5.2% above the level of a year ago.
That is down from the 5.6% increase reported in May, which was the first decline in the value change from a year earlier since March 2009.
Values in June were 4.3% below the market peak of late 2007, having been 4.1% lower in May and 3.9% lower in April.
While values calculated using QV indices had declined, the average sales price in June increased slightly from $403,070 to $404,715.
That was due to a change in composition of the sales taking place, and showed the unreliability of using average sales prices to measure value change, QV said.
Glenda Whitehead of QV Valuations said no evidence had shown up so far of May's budget having any dramatic impact on the property market.
Any impact was likely to take effect during the next 12 months as various tax changes were implemented, and would also depend on whether investors decided to sell as a result of the budget measures.
For now, sellers with unrealistic price expectations were being bypassed by purchasers.
"Buyers continue to be very cautious and selective in their purchasing decisions. Properties with perceived flaws such as structural problems, or poor maintenance, or perhaps at a greater distance from town, are proving harder to sell," Ms Whitehead said.
Distressed sales continued to have an impact, subduing price levels in areas where they were available and potentially cheaper than non-stressed sales.
Sales numbers were around 20% below the long term average, with a decline in activity typical for this time of the year as winter set in, she said.
"There also appears to have been an easing in the number of new properties coming on to the market, which is a normal trend for this time of the year. There is still plenty of choice for the few buyers actively searching."
Across the Auckland area values are 7.9% above last year, down from the 8.8% reported for May.
The increase in the Wellington area slipped to 5.4% in June from 6% the previous month, and in Christchurch it eased to 5.9% from 6.2%.
In some provincial areas values are lower than they were a year ago, with Whangarei down 1.1 %, Rotorua down 2.1%, and Gisborne down 0.9%.
NZPA and NBR Staff
Mon, 12 Jul 2010