7 Jun 2018

House sales slow, prices flat in winter slowdown

5:33 am on 7 June 2018

Housing prices are in a holding pattern with values in Auckland and Wellington at a standstill.

Sold sign Housing generic

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

QV's national index showed overall prices rose 0.8 percent in the three months to May, bringing annual growth to 6.9 percent.

Auckland's average values rose just 0.1 percent, while Wellington city prices fell 1.1 percent over the three months to May.

The nationwide average house value is now $677,996.

QV general manager David Nagel said nationwide sales volumes were down, which was consistent with a typical winter slowdown.

"This is typical of this time of year, as many people put off selling their property until the warmer months.

"Values remain relatively high, as low interest rates, the loosening of the LVR restrictions and the government kick-start packages, such as the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant and savings withdrawal, continue to fuel demand."

A lower expectation of capital gains, particularly in Auckland, had translated into less urgency when it came to selling or buying property.

"Dunedin is the only main centre to buck the trend, where entry-level prices remain comparatively low and well-located properties continue to demand high prices," he said.

Values growth across the other regional centres of Hamilton, Tauranga and Christchurch remained flat.

"With interest rates due to remain stable coupled with increasing costs faced by investors, I would anticipate the current trends will remain mostly the same over the coming months and vendors will need to put extra focus on marketing their property effectively in a tighter market," he said.

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