9 Aug 2013

Auckland house prices continue to rise

4:28 pm on 9 August 2013

Average house prices in Auckland have gone up again, and are predicted to continue rising for the rest of the year.

The latest index of house prices from Quotable Value shows nationwide residential prices continued increasing in July, mainly driven by demand outstripping supply in both Christchurch and Auckland.

The index was up 8.1% in July compared with a year ago and was 7.5% higher than the previous market peak in late 2007. In the three months to July alone, prices rose 4% in Auckland and 3.4% in Christchurch.

Quotable Value operations manager Kerry Stewart told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme that the market isn't factoring in Auckland plans to open up more land for new homes and encourage higher-density developments.

He says there is also no sign of buyers baulking at the high prices. Mr Stewart says home loan approvals are dropping because many banks are amending their lending practices before the Reserve Bank makes policy changes.

QV's figures are based on settled house sales and prepared on a three-month rolling average basis, so they lag by several months those of the Real Estate Institute, which count unconditional sale agreements signed in the previous month.

The institute's latest figures showed its house price index rose 8.4% in June from a year earlier.