2 Mar 2016

More signs house prices are cooling

2:41 pm on 2 March 2016

There are further signs the housing market is cooling.

House for sale in Upper Hutt.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Data from QV reveals national house values were flat last month when compared with January when the average national value was at $556,306.

Prices in the Auckland region fell 0.4 percent, with the value sitting at $925,656.

The Auckland market has increased 17.8 percent year on year, but has decreased by 0.7 percent over the past three months.

The fall in the country's biggest city follows tighter lending restrictions which came into force for investors late last year.

But QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said prices in the country's biggest city remained high.

"The important thing to note with the Auckland market is it rose very quickly over a number of years and you have to remember that the average value in the city is still over $900,000," she said.

"It's not like when you see a few percentage points coming off the average values, that suddenly homes are going to be a lot more affordable."

On a regional basis, there continued to be strong price growth in Whangarei, Tauranga, Hamilton, Napier, Wellington and Queenstown, Ms Rush said.

"Regional areas within commuting distance to Auckland are also still benefiting from buyers looking for more affordable housing or rental property and values are up more than 5.0 percent in the Kaipara, Waikato and Hauraki Districts over the past three months."

Values in Christchurch and Dunedin were also rising at a more moderate pace.

The level of listings remained low in most parts of the country despite more properties coming on to the market in February, Ms Rush said.

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