House and land values have plummeted across the Buller district in the latest rating valuations.
Reefton and Westport are worst hit.
Average land values across the district have dropped 28 per cent while residential capital values have decreased by 18 per cent since the last valuations in 2013.
In Reefton average land values have slumped 39.6 per cent to $35,000 while the capital value of dwellings is down 24.6 per cent to $148,000.
For Westport land values are down 35.2 per cent to $51,000 while capital values have dropped 20.3 per cent to $183,000.
The overall land value of Buller District is now $1.6 billion, an 8.7 per cent decrease from 2013.
The overall capital value of the district is $2.75 billion which is down 8.9 per cent.
The valuations by Quotable Value (QV), the government's rating and property valuation agency, cover 7876 properties throughout the district.
In the 2013 revaluation the overall capital value increased 4.4 per cent. Land value increased 1.2 per cent.
In Westport, capital values rose 16.1 per cent and land values rose 15.1 per cent, while in Reefton capital values went up 16.9 per cent and land values 12 per cent.
QV lead valuer, Richard Kolff, said today there were no real surprises in the 2016 valuations.
"Overall, value changes reflect the challenging economic conditions the Buller District has faced recently, with the greatest effects seen in the residential and business markets in Westport and Reefton.
"Westport and Reefton have seen the greatest decrease in values driven mainly by the job losses associated with the downturn in the mining industry, and the closing of the Holcim cement plant has been a further influence on jobs and thus demand for housing in the Westport market."
Kolff said the supporting economy was different in the outlying areas with the rural sector, tourism and holiday home market all having an impact.
Out-of-town buyers such as Christchurch people wanting properties by the sea kept prices buoyant.
Kolff said the outlook for the region's major industries including mining, dairying and tourism was increasingly positive.
"We expect it will not be long before that is reflected in a more active market and an upswing in values."
Kolff said the revaluation process involved analysing and inspecting almost all sales, except mortgagee sales were excluded.
Some sampling of different properties in different areas was also undertaken which meant a few physical inspections to check trends, he said.
The process also included some assessment of building permits and conversations with real estate agents.
The Buller revaluation was managed by QV's Hokitika office and took about four months to complete, Kolff said.
Westland's valuation is due next year with Grey District scheduled for 2018.
Mayor anticipated fall
Buller mayor Garry Howard said he had anticipated a drop in valuations of 20 percent because he knew properties were selling for around 20 per cent less than the 2013 valuations.
He said those most affected by the valuations were people wanting to sell their properties in the near future.
He advised people to have a good look at their valuations and object if they thought they did not correctly reflect the value of their property.
QV would reassess the valuation which might include a physical inspection of the property, he said.
Howard said that while the values were effective from September 1 there would be no difference in council's rates until the start of the new financial year on July 1, 2017.
He said the only property owners who were likely to notice a change in their rate amounts were those whose property values differed markedly, either up or down, from properties around them.
The 2013 valuation increases had been on the back of some very strong years of property sales, he said.
The commercial and industrial business sector has also seen a reduction in total values since the last rating revaluation in 2013. Capital values were down 20.6 per cent on 2013 and land values slumped 22.2 per cent.
Kolff said the farming sector bucked the trend somewhat.
"Dairy farming dominates the rural market in Buller and the positive outlook for milk prices have led to farming prices remaining stable overall compared with the 2013 values."
He said lifestyle property value changes were more aligned to the residential market than rural.
"Capital values have decreased by 13.1 per cent and the land values have decreased by 14.5 per cent in this sector of the market."
QV will post out new rating valuations to all property owners on the West Coast on December 13.
The district valuation rolls can be viewed at the council offices, and will be available on its website, from Friday December 16.
Objections to the revised valuations must be lodged, in writing or on line at www.qv.co.nz, no later than January 30, 2017.
Objection forms are available from the Buller District Council or Quotable Value Limited.
- Westport News