Property values in Wairarapa are locked in free-fall, the latest QV Valuation figures show.
According to the QV tables for May, the average home sale price in Masterton dropped $12,340 from the $238,479 average reported for the previous month. The drop in price comes after consecutive falls of close to $10,000 during each of the previous two months.
Property value growth in Masterton rose marginally to -4.7 per cent last month from -4.8 per cent in April, while for the 10th and eighth consecutive month Carterton and South Wairarapa respectively dipped below the QV radar as sales volumes in the districts were too low to be reliable statistically.
Average sale prices are calculated by QV, the government valuer, based on residential sales data entered in its system over the previous three-month period. Property value growth is the annual percentage change in residential property values, calculated with the same methodology.
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Jonno Ingerson, PropertyIQ research director, said the average sales prices in Wairarapa were "very volatile, not only due to low sales volumes - particularly in Carterton and South Wairarapa - but also because the average is affected by what happens to be selling.
"The drop in sales prices in recent months may be due to cheaper properties selling, and isn't necessarily indicating that values overall are dropping by that much," he said.
He said property values have dropped in the last few months in each of the three Wairarapa districts of Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa after a marginal recovery earlier this year. "This is in line with what is happening in the Wellington area."
But the monthly residential property movement report is unaffected "by whether the top or bottom end of the market is more active the way average or median sales price is, so is a better measure of how values are changing in an area".
QV Valuations spokesman Pieter Geill said diverse trends were being reported in the greater Wellington Region, with Wellington and Porirua values holding their own while Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt property values slipped further.
"Overall the month was relatively quiet with continued subdued sales activity. Public sector restructuring is being well-reported by the press and is likely to also have a dampening effect on confidence in the Wellington region."
The average sales price for Wellington in May was $467,254.