10 Aug 2012

House values will keep rising while interest rates low - QV

6:58 am on 10 August 2012

Quotable Value, is expecting activity to remain high in the housing market while interest rates remain low.

Higher prices in Christchurch and Auckland pushed the nationwide value of houses by 4.6% for the year to July, close to the market peak of five years ago.

But QV says the hike is being driven by a lack of listings to satisfy stronger demand.

Research director Jonno Ingerson says low interest rates have encouraged first home buyers and investors back into the market and sales volumes have picked up in the last few months.

Mr Ingerson says he doesn't expect that to change if interest rates remain at their current level.

He says property values will gradually increase if the level of listings doesn't rise to meet that demand.

"If the supply does increase and more properties come on the market, as often they tend to do in spring, then we may see the value increase slow down a little bit".

Real Estate Institute survey shows slowing growth

Separately, another survey indicates a slowing housing market last month, with fewer sales and prices retreating from record all-time highs.

The Real Estate Institute says sales fell 4% to 5907 last month compared with June, though it's up 20% compared with the same period a year ago.

The median house sale price eased 3% to $361,000, while it took 38 days to sell a house.

The institute says buyer activity in Auckland and Christchurch continues to drive the improvement.

The organisation stresses the market is still largely recovering rather than returning to boom, with most other areas experiencing flat or subdued rises.

Its house price index increased 5.2%.