6 Apr 2016

Auckland house price lull might not last

2:45 pm on 6 April 2016

National house prices have risen at a slower rate in March, including in Auckland, but are surging ahead in the North Island.

A sold sticker on a real estate sign outside a house in Auckland.

Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Quotable Value (QV)'s national index annual rate rose 11.4 percent in the year to March from about 14 percent the month before.

Prices in the Auckland region also slowed, with the annual growth easing slightly to just under 17 percent as tighter lending restrictions and tax rules weighed on the market.

"Home values have risen in most parts of New Zealand in the first quarter of 2016 with the exception of the Auckland region, where values have been on a slight downward trend over the past three months," QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said.

The Auckland market had decreased 0.2 percent in the past three months.

However, the slowdown in the Auckland market might be prove to be short-lived.

"Over the past month, activity and demand has picked up in Auckland. Across the city, those areas that had been slowing a bit are starting to come back up again," Ms Rush said.

Ms Rush said Waikato and Bay of Plenty now had the fastest price growth in the country, about 23 percent over the past year, but there was also strength in Wellington, Dunedin and Queenstown.

Investors and home buyers seemed to have come to grips with the stricter Reserve Bank and IRD rules and decided to act.

"The wait and see approach has subsided and people are ready to invest again but they're not expecting to get that instant capital gain overnight but they're approaching as a more long term investment."

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