QV Valuations have just released their residential property index for last month, which shows property values in New Zealand gradually increasing.
"Nationwide property values have again increased slightly over the past months and are now 0.1% above the same time last year and 5% below the market peak of 2007" said Glenda Whitehead from QV Valuations. However she went on to point out that although nationwide values may be increasing there are still differences regionally, and prices in Auckland and Canterbury especially are helping to hold values up.
Property values in the Auckland area have increased by 2.8% since January, and are now just 0.3% below peak values in 2007, with values in the Old Auckland City area now 1.5% more than their previous peak, having increased 3% over the last year. Other main centres in the city have seen values remain relatively stable, although slightly lower than last year. Values are now 1.8% less in Hamilton and 0.5% less in Tauranga. Values in Dunedin are 2.9% less than last year.
In the Wellington area however, property prices have slipped, and are continuing to fall. They have dropped by 1.9% since January and by 2.4% over the past year and values there are now 7.7% below peak market values, though there are some signs that things are beginning to stabilise.
Property values in earthquake-hit Christchurch have been increasing over the last few months, as demand for homes in undamaged areas is high. Values have increased by 1.7% over the last year, with most of the growth being seen during the last few months. Areas close to Christchurch have seen more substantial gains, as values have risen by 4%.
It now looks as if property values in Auckland and Wellington may be leveling out a little, especially as new listings are coming onto the market with the advent of spring. This should increase the number of sales as the market returns to a more normal seasonal pattern which has been largely absent over the past few years.