As the country's property prices finally flatten off, Dunedin is bucking the trend with people buying up the city's houses in their droves, QV figures show.
The property valuation company today released its House Price Index for December, revealing a 1.3 per cent increase in the nation's property stock over the past three months. That's 51.5 per cent above the previous market peak of late 2007.
There has been a slowing rate of value growth since the Reserve Bank introduced new loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions in July, which require a minimum 40 per cent deposit for investment properties.
However, in Dunedin there has been no evidence of the housing market slowing down and property values continue to rise, with sales activity remaining strong through the normally-slow Christmas period.
Home values in the city have risen 14.6 per cent year-on-year and 4.4 per cent over the past three months. The average house value in the city is now $354,133.
"This is likely to be due to the fact the Dunedin housing market offers a much lower entry level and price point than the other main centres. Thus it's easier for investors to find a 40 per cent deposit to purchase there and investors have remained active," said QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush.
Rush added that the city hadn't seen the same levels of growth as the other main centres so was coming off a lower value base, but demand remained strong.
"This also goes for other regional centres with average values are under $500,000 such as Rotorua, the Hauraki District, South Waikato District, Kawerau District, Whangarei, the Kaipara District, Nelson, Tasman and the Mackenzie District in the South Island where places like Tekapo and Twizel are seeing an overflow of value growth given strong value growth in Queenstown, Wanaka and Cromwell."
QV Dunedin valuer Duncan Jack said value levels in the city continued to steadily increase, sales activity remained strong and properties were selling quickly.
"There is anecdotal evidence at the end of last year of multiple offer scenarios and high numbers at open homes continuing to be commonplace," he said.
Meanwhile, the Auckland market increased 12.2 per cent year-on-year - the slowest rate since January 2015. Over the past three months values crept up just 1.5 per cent and area now 91.6 per cent higher than the 2007 peak. The average house in the Auckland region is now worth $1,047,179.
In Wellington, values continue to rise faster than in Auckland but at a slightly slower rate than prior to the LVRs being introduced. Home values rose 20.5 per cent year-on-year and 3.9 per cent over the past three months with the average house in the capital now worth $693,842.
In Christchurch, values increased 2.5 per cent year-on-year but decreased 0.3 per cent over the past three months and are now 30.3 per cent higher than the 2007 peak. The average home value in the city is $494,247.
Kaikoura has not yet shown any downward trend following the November earthquake.