8 Dec 2008

Residential property market remains sluggish

8:37 pm on 8 December 2008

Latest figures show the fall in the value of properties remains steady, but Quotable Value says it is too early to say a recovery is around the corner.

QV's figures for the three months ending November compared to the same period last year show national property values fell 6.8%, the same decline as that measured in October.

The average national sale price dropped slightly to $375,408.

Quotable Value says house values have fallen to levels seen in March 2007.

Spokeperson Blue Hancock said spring bolstered sales slightly, but he suspects buyers will remain cautious despite falling house prices and interest rates, as people worry about the economy and their jobs.

Mr Hancock says an increase in expatriates returning to live in New Zealand next year, and a subdued home building sector, might prod some life into the moribund housing market.


In the Auckland area, property values are down 7.4% compared to the same time last year, which is a slight recovery from the 7.7% decline reported last month.

Hamilton City also recovered slightly to a 8.5% decline from 9.0% reported last month, the Wellington area showed a 6.0% decline compared to 6.1%, Christchurch fell 7.4% compared to 7.8%, and Dunedin recorded a 7.6% decline from 8.2%.

Tauranga was the only main centre to fall further, recording a 8.4% drop compared to a 7.9%.

In the provincial centres, Whangarei fell 8.0%, Gisborne was 9.6% lower, Hastings prices fell 4.5%, New Plymouth was down 6.0%, and Palmerston North dropped 9.0%. All these centres decreased less than reported last month.

However Rotorua (down 10.3%), Napier (down 5.9%), Wanganui (down 6.8%), Nelson (down 6.2%), Queenstown Lakes (down 12.5%) and Invercargill (down 7.7%) declined further.