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Nationwide property values remain flat

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The QV residential property indices show that nationwide values have remained flat in May.

“Nationwide property values have now remained steady for the past six months, after having declined in the six months prior to that. Values are now 1.6 percent lower than the same time last year, and 5.7 percent below the market peak of late 2007” said Glenda Whitehead of QV Valuations.

“While values remain static at a nationwide level, there continue to be differences between regions, with Auckland and Wellington showing contrasting trends” said Ms Whitehead.

“Values in the Auckland area have moved within a narrow range since the beginning of 2009. In the past few months they have begun to edge upwards and are currently 1.2 percent above January, 0.3 percent above the same time last year, and only 1.8 percent below the market peak of late 2007” said Ms Whitehead.

“Values in Hamilton remain 3.5 percent below the same time last year, while in Tauranga values have levelled in recent months and are now 1.8 percent below last year. In the Wellington area values continue to decline slightly after rallying in late 2010 and early 2011, and as a result are 3.6 percent below the same time last year. In Dunedin values have been more or less stable since the beginning of the year and are now 2.5 percent below last year” said Ms Whitehead.

“Sales activity dropped away in late April coinciding with Easter and the school holidays, but recovered in recent weeks. Sales activity typically remains subdued through the winter months, but has fluctuated in recent years, and can follow confidence levels” said Ms Whitehead.

“As has been the case for many months, there is a general lack of good quality well presented properties on the market. When these come up they tend to sell quickly and for good prices, whereas properties with perceived flaws are slow to sell or need to discount in order to attract a buyer. There is also evidence from across the country that first home buyers may be active in the market again, perhaps encouraged by lower interest rates and easing lending criteria” said Ms Whitehead.

“The Christchurch market remains fragmented with strong demand for properties in the north-western suburbs as well as the outlying towns in the Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts. In contrast there has been very little sales activity from within the more damaged suburbs of Christchurch. It appears as if overall sales activity has slowed down as we come into winter. The lack of sales means that we have not calculated a May index for Christchurch” said Ms Whitehead.

While unrelated to the QV index, and a less reliable measure of value change, the average New Zealand sales price over the last three months is $404,057 down slightly from the $405,310 reported last month.

There is considerable variability between the provincial centres. Whangarei (-5.5), Gisborne (-5.2), Wanganui (-5.0) and Palmerston North (-4.2) are all well below this time last year. The gap is more moderate in Napier (-3.3), New Plymouth (-3.4) and Invercargill (-3.4), while in Rotorua (-1.1), Hastings (-1.4), Nelson (-0.9) and Queenstown Lakes (-0.8) values are only slightly below last year.

Auckland

QV’s Residential Price Index for May shows that property values have increased by 0.3% over the past year in the Auckland region. There has been a steady increase in values over the past couple of months.

Ms Glenda Whitehead of QV Valuations said; “We have continued to see properties within pockets of the market, typically close to the city or in desirable school zones, continue to get good prices, some above the levels achieved in late 2010.”

“The balance of the market remains steady. Buyers continue to report a lack of quality listings and many are frustrated by this after long periods of looking. It appears that some potential vendors are waiting to see some positive signs in their local area before listing. We have seen several examples where a property sold at a good price in a street, which results in other homeowners on that street listing in the hope of receiving a favourable offer as well” Ms Whitehead said.

Ms Whitehead said “Our valuers report that within old Waitakere City, the market is ticking over. The high end of the market (over $1,000,000) seems to be very quiet. In this area there doesn’t appear to be any noticeable demand from investors and developers.”

“In south Auckland our valuers have noted an increase in the amount of activity, especially in the $200-500K price range. Investors are in the mix but it is felt this could be a short term surge to meet present demands. There are also still some mortgagee sales occurring. Overall this market has seen steady value levels over the past couple of months, except in a few individual sought after pockets such as the gardens in Manurewa, parts of Papatoetoe and Mangere bridge, which have shown positive movement. There is no shortage of listings in this part of the market” Ms Whitehead said.

Ms Whitehead said “Within the south east there seems to be more activity. Since the major banks relaxed their lending criteria, a number of first home buyer’s with pre-approvals have been looking in this market. Despite this there doesn't seem to be a lot of pressure on values levels (with the exception of the well presented properties in good areas). A number of sellers are receiving multiple offers and it seems that the buyer with the best conditions is successful due to the lack of price competition. There appears to be a lot of poorer quality properties on the market and reasonably large differences between the asking prices and selling prices.”

“The fringe CBD suburbs in Auckland city (in particular Ponsonby/Grey Lynn) are achieving sale prices well above those same prices in November/December 2010. This appears to be driven by a lack of listings and more buyers out there looking, so "hot properties" are selling well above market value at auction. This could be summed up as a supply and demand imbalance, and is possibly temporary” Ms Whitehead said.

Ms Whitehead said “CBD apartments continue to turnover but no value growth is evident. Buyers are a mixture of investors and owner occupiers.”

QV’s Residential Price Index is calculated using sales data from the 3 months leading up to the month being reported. It is not the same as the average sales price, which fluctuates in line with the mix of properties selling in upper or lower price brackets. The average sales price for the Auckland region in May was $528,334.

Hamilton

QV’s Residential Price Index for May shows that property values have decreased by 3.5% over the past year in Hamilton. Values appear to have flattened following a decline.

Mr. Richard Allen of QV Valuations said: “In the past few months values have been trending down in a very narrow band and there is evidence that the market has levelled off.”

“There were some variations across each of the suburbs with some values appearing to trend in a positive direction when comparing year on year such as South East Hamilton, Central City and the North West area. Whilst others are still decreasing such as South West Hamilton and the North East suburbs” Mr. Allen said

QV’s Residential Price Index is calculated using sales data from the 3 months leading up to the month being reported. It is not the same as the average sales price, which fluctuates in line with the mix of properties selling in upper or lower price brackets. The average sales price for Hamilton in May was $340,043.

Tauranga

QV’s Residential Price Index for May shows that property values have decreased by 1.8% over the past year in Tauranga. The decline in values appears to have slowed with them levelling out.

Mr. Shayne Donovan-Grammer of QV Valuations said; “The market continues to be subdued, with prices stagnating and activity moderate.”

“There appears to be a shift towards more affordable housing with buyers lowering their expectations to fit their budget and keep the level of debt in check. New homes on half sized sites that are well located are in demand. This is because the prices are realistic although the size of the land may not be ideal for the buyer” Mr. Donovan-Grammer said.  

Mr. Donovan-Grammer said “Overall, the market is holding but the average transaction is more heavily negotiated as buyers expect a good price.”

QV’s Residential Price Index is calculated using sales data from the 3 months leading up to the month being reported. It is not the same as the average sales price, which fluctuates in line with the mix of properties selling in upper or lower price brackets. The average sales price for Tauranga in May was $411,235.

Wellington

QV’s Residential Price Index for May shows that property values in the Wellington region have decreased by 3.6% over the past year. Values have continued to decline in recent months.

Mr Pieter Geill of QV Valuations said: “We are seeing diverse trends in the Wellington Region, with Wellington and Porirua values holding their own while Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt property values have slipped further from last month.”

“Overall the month was relatively quiet with continued subdued sales activity. Public Sector restructuring is being well reported by the press and is likely to also have a dampening effect on confidence in the Wellington region. It could potentially see a slower recovery to the market. It also appears that we are experiencing the traditional quiet period that happens as we approach winter” Mr Pieter Geill said.

QV’s Residential Price Index is calculated using sales data from the 3 months leading up to the month being reported. It is not the same as the average sales price, which fluctuates in line with the mix of properties selling in upper or lower price brackets. The average sales price for Wellington in May was $467,254.

Christchurch

The significant slowdown in the number of sales, and the delays in the overall sales process in Christchurch following the 22 February earthquake mean that the QV residential price index cannot yet be used to measure the change in property values.

Mrs Melanie Swallow of QV Valuations said; “The Christchurch market continues to remain subdued as we move into the winter months.

“There continues to be strong interest in the northwest suburbs, Selwyn and Waimakariri townships. Also, for well priced quality homes in suburban Christchurch that have not been affected by earthquake damage” Mrs Swallow said.

Mrs Swallow said “We are still seeing a small level of activity in the more affected suburbs, although well down on what we would usually expect to see. With a low volume of activity and still much uncertainty in the market it is very difficult to make any future forecasts with any confidence.”

“There are reports from rental agents showing a lift in rental levels for the North West suburbs, with little or no change in rentals in the eastern suburbs at present” Mrs Swallow said.

Mrs Swallow said “The market for lifestyle properties remains fairly soft as does the market for property in the outlying townships.”

“Overall things remain static, with little change in the past four weeks. We expect to see a similar pattern of activity and fragmentation for some time.” Mrs. Swallow said.

Dunedin

QV’s Residential Price Index for May shows that property values in Dunedin have decreased by 2.5%. Values appear to be fluctuating in a narrow band.

Mr. Tim Gibson of QV Valuations said: “The Dunedin residential Real Estate market remained relatively flat for the month of May. The decreasing values experienced in late 2010 and early 2011 appear to have slowed with values somewhat steady as we head into the traditionally slow winter period.”

“Reasonable demand continues to exist for well presented properties within most Dunedin locations. Quick sales are occurring if the property meets all the needs of the purchaser. This is counter-balanced by potential buyers becoming more particular on their purchases with any detrimental features of a property usually resulting in longer seller periods and generally greater discounting to secure a buyer” Mr. Gibson said.

Mr. Gibson said “The sales activity that has been experienced may be attributed to the low interest rates, which has allowed some first home buyers to enter the market”.

QV’s Residential Price Index is calculated using sales data from the 3 months leading up to the month being reported. It is not the same as the average sales price, which fluctuates in line with the mix of properties selling in upper or lower price brackets. The average sales price for Dunedin in May was $264,701.

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