Rising interest rates have taken the first bite of the housing market with the latest figures from the OneRoof-Valocity House Value Index showing an easing of growth across most of New Zealand.
Auckland's property market ran hot toward the end of 2021 with houses selling quickly for record amounts. But in the last quarter until February, growth has slowed to a relatively lower rate of 3.8 per cent.
For the first time in years, house values fell in five Auckland suburbs. Torbay on Auckland's North Shore dropped 4 per cent, Avondale dropped 3.7 per cent, Auckland Central dropped 3 per cent, Glen Eden dropped 1.3per cent, Te Atatu Peninsula dropped 0.3per cent, and New Lynn dropped 0.1 per cent.
This translates to around $60,000 to $10,000 off the sale price.
The shifting down in gear is a sign that new lending rules and rising interest rates are starting to take effect with several regions' quarterly growth well below the nationwide average, said OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan.
"We are seeing it with clearance rates in the auction room where areas such as New Lynn that had rapid growth 18 months ago have now hit the ceiling.
"New restrictions mean buyers are pre-approved for a lot less which means they are also restricted how they can spend that money."
The report suggested other suburbs would join the negative growth club with Browns Bay, Forrest Hill, Okura Bush, Te Atatu South and Sunnynook looking vulnerable.
Despite this New Zealand's average property value grew $215,000 in the last 12 months.
The nationwide average property value rose 4 per cent to $1.101 million in the three months to the end of February compared to 5.9 per cent in the three months to the end of January.
For those selling their home, it meant adjusting to "new market realities" where buyers had smaller bank-approved loans so there was an increasing number of houses passed in at auction.
Last year's heat where properties were selling well over the reserve price had all but gone and buying was a lot "calmer".
"The fear buyers had of missing out on a property had now been replaced with the fear of paying too much," Vaughan said.
"That's a difficult proposition for vendors, all of a sudden, which is why there are houses not meeting their reserves and agents finding a buyer after the auction."
Auckland has slowed the most over the quarter, with the city's western suburbs more exposed with growth of just 1.1 per cent.
The North Shore and central city suburbs were also subdued, with growth of between 3.3 per cent and 3.4 per cent.
Franklin, on the city's southern fringes, is Auckland's strongest growth region - it was up 6.3 per cent over the quarter.
The exception was popular Auckland holiday spot Waiheke Island. The Hauraki Gulf island was the top performer with15 per cent growth and a high volume of sales in the last quarter.
Out of Auckland the highest-performing holiday area was Queenstown-Lakes which turned in growth of 10.4 per cent to $1.851 m with some big-ticket sales and increased confidence after the area was hit hard by Covid.
Northland and Taranaki have been the hottest regions over the quarter, recording value growth of 7.9 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.
Northland is the country's strongest housing market, with the region's average property value up from 6.9 per cent growth in the three months to the end of January.
Kaipara had an 8.6 per cent rise in value and Whangarei had a 7.9 per cent rise in value.
Tasman was the country's weakest region with 2.3 per cent growth over the three months while Northland, buoyed by an 8.6 per cent lift in Kaipara, was the country's strongest housing market, with quarterly growth of almost 8 per cent.
Growth in Greater Wellington was 3.4 per cent over the quarter.
Canterbury, which had registered growth of 6.7 per cent in the three months to the end of January, had slowed down to 4.6 per cent.
Waikato and Bay of Plenty, which had headed into 2022 with growth of almost 7 per cent, had dropped in pace to 5.1per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively.
Westland, Rotorua, and Mackenzie appear most vulnerable to house price falls, with all three registering zero or negligible growth over the quarter.
Growth in Christchurch, Hamilton, Tauranga and Wellington was all around the 4.5 per cent mark, while growth in Dunedin was slower, at 3.6 per cent.
Hauraki is the country's best-performing region, with its average property value up 16.6 per cent in the last three months to $816,000.
Herne Bay, in Auckland, is New Zealand's most expensive metro suburb, with an average property value of $4.187m. Speargrass Flat, a lifestyle suburb north of Queenstown, has the highest overall average property value, at $4.845m.
With an average property value of $233,000, Runanga, in Greymouth, is the best place to bag a bargain.
Whiritoa, in Hauraki, had the biggest quarterly growth, with its average property value up 23.8 per cent to $1.088m.
Speargrass Flat, in Queenstown Lakes, gained the most, dollar-wise, in the last 12 months. Its average property value rose $1.104m. Year on year, 34 suburbs saw their average property value grow by more than $500,000.
The suburb that has suffered the most over the last 12 months is Matipo Heights, in Rotorua. Its average property value grew just 1 per cent year on year and fell 4.8 per cent in the last three months.