Average residential property values are declining or flat in Auckland and Hamilton but rising strongly in Wellington, according to the latest figures from Quotable Value.
The average value of all homes in the whole of New Zealand was $631,432 in the three months to the end of March, up 0.6% compared to the previous three months.
But there were substantial variations around the country, with values in some areas declining or flattening out and rising in others.
Auckland: Messy with values down in some places, up in others. Average dwelling value $1,045,362, -0.2% in the last three months.
Within the Auckland region average values were down compared to three months ago on the North Shore (-1.4%), Manukau (-0.5%), and Waitakere (-1.4%), but up in Rodney (+1.2%), Central Auckland suburbs (+0.9%), Papakura (+1.2%) and Franklin (+1.1%).
Sales were down overall in Auckland and upmarket properties were selling better than those in less expensive areas, according to QV homevalue manager James Steele.
"The top end of the market where cash buyers are not affected by LVRs [Reserve Bank loan-to-value ratio restrictions] continues to see strong value growth... than those in cheaper parts of Auckland such as the city's southern and western outskirts," he said.
"Areas with lower value investor stock such as Manurewa and Papakura in the south, Hillcrest and Sunnynook on the North Shore and Ranui and Glen Eden in the west, areas previously dominated by investor demand, have seen values drop back."
However that was not making life any easier for first home buyers.
"While first home buyers face less competition for entry level homes, prices are still too high for most and there are reports of some deals falling over at the finance stage, with some having trouble securing finance due to stricter criteria from banks," Steel said.
Hamilton: Values have plateaued. Average dwelling value $532,888, -0.4% in the last three months.
"While the Hamilton market is not as frantic as it was this time last year and values have plateaued, there is still good demand for properties," QV homevalue Hamilton manager Stephen Hare said.
"Auctions have become less attractive with recent results seeing more properties being passed in.
"Selling with a listing price and by negotiation has become more commonplace with vendors less inclined to auction their homes in the current market.
"With the Hamilton City market seeing values plateau, we are now seeing a levelling out in value growth in surrounding small townships such as Ngaruawahia, Huntly and Te Awamutu."
Tauranga: Still rising but not as quickly as last year. Average dwelling value $676,381, +0.6% in the last three months.
"The Tauranga market continues to rise but at a much lower rate than prior to the LVR restrictions introduced late last year," Tauranga registered valuer David Hume said.
"There have been large value increases in the $1 million-plus bracket of the market as local and out of town cash buyers not affected by LVRs continue to move or invest in Tauranga.
"At the low end and mid-range of the market things are less frantic and rather than seeing 10 way multi-offers after the first open home, we are instead seeing the market return to a more normal situation."
Wellington Region: Values rising strongly. Average dwelling value $595,501. +3.7% in the last three months.
"Values have continued to increase in Wellington on the back of strong buyer demand," QV registered valuer David Cornford said.
Upper Hutt has seen the largest year-on-year value growth, followed closely by Lower Hutt and Porirua.
"First home buyers continue to look to these regions as they struggle to secure a home in Wellington City, where average values are now over $700,000, Cornford said."
Christchurch: Patchy, with less demand for mid-priced homes. Average dwelling value $497,120, +0.6% in the last three months.
"The market is a little patchy in terms of buyer demand and sales prices," QV registered valuer Daryl Taggart said.
"There have been more listings coming onto the market which is often the most popular time to sell. However given that demand has been lower since the latest round of LVR restrictions, this is meaning buyers have more choice.
"There is still very good demand for housing at the entry level of the market, with strong competition amongst first home buyers for properties priced under $450,000.
"However, in the next level up with home prices over $600,000, we are not seeing as much demand as it's out of reach for most first home buyers and those movers looking to trade up are a lot more fussy."
Dunedin: Values still rising, but off a low base. Average dwelling value $363,821, +2.7% in the last three months.
'Listing levels continue to be at low levels, meaning its slim pickings for buyers," QV Dunedin registered valuer Duncan Jack said.
"Home value levels continue to increase with reports of strongest demand being within the mid-price range of $300,000 to $400,000."
The chart below shows the average values for March in all districts, and their movement over three and 12 months:
QV House Price Index. Three months to March 2017
|Territorial authority||Average current value $||12 month change %||3 month change %|
|Main Urban Areas||748,957||12.3%||-0.3%|
|Total New Zealand||631,432||12.9%||0.6%|
|Auckland - Rodney||940,701||13.3%||1.2%|
|Rodney - Hibiscus Coast||920,149||13.3%||1.8%|
|Rodney - North||964,038||13.4%||0.7%|
|Auckland - North Shore||1,201,367||11.5%||-1.4%|
|North Shore - Coastal||1,375,264||12.6%||-1.5%|
|North Shore - Onewa||952,902||9.9%||-2.3%|
|North Shore - North Harbour||1,184,914||11.1%||0.0%|
|Auckland - Waitakere||828,959||12.1%||-1.4%|
|Auckland - City||1,229,715||12.5%||0.9%|
|Auckland City - Central||1,062,943||10.8%||0.1%|
|Auckland City - East||1,542,858||13.3%||1.5%|
|Auckland City - South||1,108,497||12.2%||0.3%|
|Auckland City - Islands||1,066,785||17.8%||4.4%|
|Auckland - Manukau||900,324||12.6%||-0.5%|
|Manukau - East||1,165,890||13.8%||0.4%|
|Manukau - Central||681,232||9.3%||-1.0%|
|Manukau - North West||775,666||13.3%||-0.8%|
|Auckland - Papakura||689,859||12.6%||1.2%|
|Auckland - Franklin||667,209||13.1%||1.1%|
|Hamilton - North East||677,418||17.0%||-0.6%|
|Hamilton - Central & North West||496,659||15.9%||-0.6%|
|Hamilton - South East||484,524||13.5%||0.0%|
|Hamilton - South West||467,316||14.5%||0.0%|
|Central Hawkes Bay||260,446||16.7%||3.8%|
|Wellington - Central & South||714,679||20.4%||2.5%|
|Wellington - East||781,177||20.1%||5.8%|
|Wellington - North||644,209||23.4%||4.8%|
|Wellington - West||808,973||17.4%||-0.9%|
|Christchurch - East||372,468||1.0%||1.1%|
|Christchurch - Hills||669,820||2.6%||2.0%|
|Christchurch - Central & North||586,247||2.7%||0.1%|
|Christchurch - Southwest||477,267||3.3%||0.6%|
|Christchurch - Banks Peninsula||504,734||2.4%||-1.7%|
|Dunedin - Central & North||376,502||14.8%||2.2%|
|Dunedin - Peninsular & Coastal||338,306||19.6%||9.5%|
|Dunedin - South||343,886||14.7%||1.7%|
|Dunedin - Taieri||379,103||15.5%||2.1%|