Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Auckland house prices forge ahead

Rises in property values expected to continue despite warnings from experts as migration boosts demand.

Auckland City. Photo / Chris Gorman
Auckland City. Photo / Chris Gorman

Auckland residential property values have rocketed by up to 18.6 per cent annually as Waitakere, part of South Auckland and the North Shore lead the charge.

And the pace is predicted to continue throughout this year, despite warnings from experts and organisations around the world and here.

Latest data from QV showed Waitakere values up 18.6 per cent annually, Manukau north west up 17.3 per cent and Onewa up 17.2 per cent.

Jono Ingerson, QV research director, said Auckland and Christchurch remained the areas where values were rising fastest.

"From the North Shore to Manukau values increased between 15 per cent and 18 per cent annually, and values in Christchurch went up 12.7 per cent. In contrast, the rest of the main centres increased between 2.5 per cent and 4 per cent, apart from Hamilton which was slightly higher at 5.8 per cent," Mr Ingerson said.

"Considering that values in Auckland have now been increasing since early 2011 it is not surprising that they are now 27 per cent above the previous 2007 market peak.

Likewise values in Christchurch are 20 per cent above the previous peak," he said.

Tauranga remained 8.2 per cent below peak, while the Wellington area, Hamilton and Dunedin were just above or below previous peak levels.

But Reserve Bank loan to value restrictions were likely to have an impact for at least the first half of this year and the first sign of that was the decline in the number of new listings, he said.

Mr Ingerson said Auckland values were expected to keep rising this year as internal and external migration boosts demand while housing supply remains tight.

The International Monetary Fund, major international credit rating agencies, Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and American economist and financial expert Nouriel Roubini all expressed concerns about house prices making New Zealand financially vulnerable to a downturn.

In the next few days, the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey of more than 300 cities will be released and it is expected to show Auckland and Christchurch in the world's least affordable housing markets.

Last week, Barfoot & Thompson released December sales figures showing Auckland average house prices rose to a record as values benefited from a lack of supply heading into the peak summer season.

The average sale price hit $700,387, from $684,646 in November and $624,015 in December 2012, Barfoot said.

- NZ Herald

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