10 Aug 2009

Slight rise in property prices

3:45 pm on 10 August 2009

New statistics show property values have increased for the third consecutive month.

Quotable Value says nationwide values rose by 0.7% during the past month and are now just 5% lower than a year ago.

The volume of sales has risen above last winter's 4000 properties per month to about 7000.

Valuation manager Glenda Whitehead says the increased number of sales is due to the growing number of investors and first-home buyers returning to the market.

She says the market seems to have returned to some sort of normality, but the increase in values is unlikely to signal the beginning of another boom.

Ms Whitehead says despite renewed activity, banks are still cautious when issuing mortgage approvals. She says banks are questioning the quality of the properties they are lending on and any risks that might be involved.

In the main centres, Auckland prices are down 3.5% on last year, Wellington is 4% down, and Christchurch has fallen back 5.5%.