6 Jul 2009

House values still falling, but by less

3:22 pm on 6 July 2009

Property values fell 7.1% in the year to June, an improvement on the 8.1% decline the previous month, Quotable Value statistics show.

The QV figures say two-thirds of the 7.1% decline over the past year occurred between July and October 2008. Further slight declines continued through until April 2009, and since then values have increased slightly.

Over the past quarter, nationwide values have increased 0.4% compared to the previous quarter when values fell 2.1%.

The national average sale price also increased to $378,535 in June from $371,555 in May.

Quotable Value says the property market is showing more signs of stabilising.

QV valuation manager Glenda Whitehead says the number of sales is up and some real estate agents are even reporting a shortage of listings.

She says the residential market is confidence based, so if people are confident in their jobs and economic factors are getting better the market will continue to stabilise. Conversely, if wider economic factors deteriorate there is likely to be pull-back.

In the year to June, prices in the metroplitan centres fell; Auckland (-5.9% compared to -7.6% recorded in the previous month's figures), Hamilton (-6.6%), Wellington (-6.5%), Christchurch (-7.3%) and Dunedin (-4.5%).

Property values in regional centres also fell; Tauranga (-8%), Whangarei (-12.4%), Rotorua (-8.1%), Gisborne (-13.4%), New Plymouth (-3.3%),Wanganui (-6%), Palmerston North (-8.4%), Queenstown Lakes (-7.0%) and Invercargill to (-8.2%).

In all centres apart from Wanganui, the the figures were an improvement on the previous month's decline.

Meanwhile, Auckland's largest real estate agent Barfoot and Thompson has noticed a pick-up in sales. It reported 891 house sales in June, a 55% increase on the same month last year.