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07-12-2009

QV main urban areas commentary: November 2009

Landlords.co.nz

The latest statistics from QV valuations show improvement in values for the second straight month, driven in part by the main centres. Find out what's happening in the main urban areas throughout the country.

To view the main centres quickly, use the links below:

Auckland

Property values in the Auckland region increased by 3.1% over the past year (calculated over the three months ending November 2009 in comparison to the same period last year), an improvement on the 2.5% annual growth reported in October. The average sale price for the region increased from $506,642 to $519,051.

Glenda Whitehead of QV Valuations said; "Generally speaking, residential property in the Auckland region continued to perform strongly over November. A continued shortage of listings and pent up demand in some areas has increased buyer competition, pushing up prices in the process. This activity appears prevalent in the central hubs within the region, with some contrasting activity out towards city fringes. An example of this is within Waitakere City, where demand is strong in Henderson and New Lynn, but weaker in Ranui and parts of Massey. Buyers continue to be discerning, focusing on properties with quality construction in traditionally sought-after streets and locations.

"Investors are also back and active in Waitakere, and appear to be accepting recent value shifts. Sold signs are a common site with properties generally turning over relatively quickly if correctly priced. However, buyers and banks continue to take the due diligence process very seriously, with finance continuing to be the lynch-pin in the success of many deals," Whitehead said.

"Within Auckland City itself, vendors who offer modernised, family-friendly and character homes are often pleasantly surprised with the sale prices achieved. This has been especially true in suburbs such as Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Mt Eden, Sandringham, Epsom and One Tree Hill, where competitive auctions have produced this result. However, when returning to market in order to re-purchase, these vendors are also faced with stiff buyer competition," she said.

"On the North Shore, our valuers note great interest in newly-listed properties, with more groups attending open homes. Where genuine interest exists in a property, buyers are quick to put pen to paper and complete their due diligence smartly. This interest is manifesting itself as a gradual improvement in values, especially in the frequently sort-after beach front areas and suburbs such as Takapuna. But again, value adjustments are less evident in the inland suburban areas and mortgagee sales are still a component of the market. Within the very high-end of the market, say $3 million plus, values appear to be significantly less than 2006 to 2007 levels, although more sales appear to be occurring than this time last year."

Hamilton

Property values in Hamilton decreased by 0.5% over the past year (calculated over the three months ending November 2009 in comparison to the same period last year), down slightly more on the 0.1% annual decline reported in October. The average sale price for the city increased slightly from $342,853 to $343,562.

"Residential property values in Hamilton City slipped backwards a little in November after a slight recovery in October, further evidence that the market in the city has almost completely flattened off," says Richard Allen of QV.

"During November, value changes were not constant across the City. The largest improvement was in Hamilton North East and the Central City/North West Hamilton area. The South East and South West both decreased," he said.

"Over the last four months property values in the city have fluctuated within a very narrow range, which confirms our opinion that house prices in the city have flattened out for the time being. This is also supported by the fairly constant average sale price trend for the last two months. The market has seemingly absorbed a number of potential set backs which appeared likely because of poor regional economic factors, but it now appears that we are headed towards a sustained period of stability."

Tauranga

Property values in Tauranga declined by 2.2% over the past year (calculated over the three months ending November 2009 in comparison to the same period last year), down further on the 1.4% annual decline reported in October. The average sale price for the region increased slightly from $400,367 to $401,620.

Shayne Donovan-Grammer of QV Valuations said: "Tauranga appears to be lagging behind the value increases being felt by the main centres. Most of the sales that are occurring seem to be at either sharp or predictable prices, although there is strong interest shown by buyers for property in the $300,000 to $400,000 bracket. Predicted interest rate increases seem to have deterred investors more than first home buyers from participating in the market at this stage."

Wellington

Property values in the Wellington region increased by 2.9% over the past year (calculated over the three months ending November 2009 in comparison to the same period last year), a substantial improvement on the 1.6% annual growth reported in October. The average sale price for the region remained relatively stable at $438,148.

"As far as values go, the Wellington region is holding a fairly steady trend of increasing values, along with most of the country's main centres. Well presented homes in traditionally strong locations are still attracting good offers, and there seems to be a decent amount of activity in higher price brackets," Kerry Buckeridge of QV Valuations said.

"It is possible however that we are starting to see the beginnings of a change. In the last couple of weeks we have heard reports that an increased number of properties are coming to market. This could be the start of a very late spring resurgence, which until now has not existed in any shape or form. The upward pressure placed on values in recent months by the well-documented shortage of listings just may be enticing sellers back into the market. It is expected that any significant increase in listings will help to bring balance to the market, and ultimately soften the upward value trend," he said.

"Also worth mentioning is the popularity of renovations amongst home owners at present. We are getting a significant amount of work from would-be buyers who struggled to find what they were looking for in Wellington's under-stocked property market. These people have decided to stay put for the time being, and spend money altering their existing property to meet their needs. Some of the renovations we are seeing are fairly substantial too, sometimes hundreds-of-thousands of dollars."

Christchurch

Property values in Christchurch increased by 2.8% over the past year (calculated over the three months ending November 2009 in comparison to the same period last year), a substantial improvement on the 1.3% annual growth reported in October. The average sale price for the city increased from $352,962 to $357,801.

"Our figures this month continue to show a recovery in Christchurch's property market. Suburban Christchurch has held well with the Hill suburbs showing the greatest recovery of 2.3 per cent in comparison to the same period last year, closely followed by the central and northern suburbs at 1.8 per cent. Although these results are encouraging, they should be treated with caution as there are still signs of a segmented market," Melanie Swallow of QV Valuations said

"In the entry level part of the market, many properties are still achieving strong results at auction, and in some cases properties are still selling above what we would consider market prices. We recommend that purchasers exercise caution with their buying decisions. Competition has been strongest in this part of the market, and this can be attributed to a shortage of properties available for sale.

"At present we are starting to see more houses come onto the market. We therefore expect the small value bubble which was created by the listings shortage to ease. This suggests a delay in the more traditional spring and summer market activity and it will probably take a couple of months to see the effects in the statistics," she said.

Dunedin

Property values in Dunedin increased by 4.1% over the past year (calculated over the three months ending November 2009 in comparison to the same period last year), down slightly on the 4.3% annual growth reported in October. The average sale price in Dunedin increased from $268,253 to $271,460.

Tim Gibson of QV Valuations said; "Interestingly, our figures for Dunedin City this month have moved backwards for the first time in quite some time. This slight fall in annual growth is due to how the market was moving 12 months ago rather than a decline in values in recent months. In fact values in Dunedin City have continued to increase, as they have since earlier this year. The monthly average sales price has also increased slightly.

"Market movement has been driven by a lack of listings over the previous three to four months, although recent indicators point to more properties being listed. This could start giving buyers more choice and bargaining power in the short term. This may also bring more balance to the market over the next few months, softening the high value growth which has occurred in recent months."

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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