Government-owned valuer Quotable Value (QV) has reported house values continued falling in October and are now down 1.6% from March.
QV said prices rose 2.8% between October 2009 and March 2010, but have since fallen. However, they remain 1.1% above October a year ago.
“The low level of sales activity we have seen all year continued through October, with sales well below both last year and the long term average," said QV.co.nz Research Director, Jonno Ingerson.
"There is no sign of the traditional spring surge in sales, and we don’t expect any significant increase in sales before the New Year," he said.
“In most areas there are plenty of properties for sale, but many of these have been on the market for some time. The number of new properties coming on the market is lower than usual for this time of year. There remains a general air of caution around the property market. Some owners are choosing to stay rather than sell, some potential buyers are struggling to secure funding as lending criteria remain tight, and in general buyers are taking their time over purchase decisions.”
QV said that while nationwide values were declining, there was considerable variability within and between areas.
"The Auckland area is showing signs of stabilisation, while values in the Wellington area are dropping steadily," Ingerson said.
"At a local level these trends also don’t apply universally, with quality properties in good areas attracting plenty of interest and often selling for good prices, while those with undesirable features are not selling or are selling at reduced prices” he said.
BNZ economist Doug Steel said the figures pointed to weakness in the housing market, as expected.
"The generally weak undertones in the housing market are likely to be echoed in the REINZ October data release on Friday. These are again likely to show weak sales and subdued prices and not just because of the earthquake," Steel said.
(Updated with video and BNZ economist's comments)