Auckland house values have dipped for the first time in six years as the housing market continues to cool nationwide.

Residential property values in the Auckland region decreased 0.6 per cent year on year, dropping by 0.5 per cent over the past three months.

The average value for the Auckland region is now $1,038,722.

Nationally, annual value growth has slowed to 3.9 per cent in the year to the end of October, the lowest rate of growth seen in five years, QV figures released today show.


In Wellington growth was up but the rate had slowed in recent months.

National QV spokeswoman Andrea Rush said the market wasn't crashing, as house prices were holding stable for the most part.

"What we're seeing is just a stabilising," she said.

"Values [in Auckland] are 90 per cent higher than they were in 2007 - you can't always expect to have year-on-year growth in the housing market.

"These rises are not sustainable."

A flat market was better for first-home buyers, "although prices are still very high and it's very hard to gain finance with stricter lending criteria from the retail banks", Rush said.

House prices were generally holding steady.

"In the Auckland market we are seeing sales volumes down, we're seeing activity levels down and we're also seeing some areas seeing prices dropping, but other areas are seeing prices increase."


Rises in the loan to value ratio (LVR) had the effect of reducing the number of investors looking to make money off buying and reselling houses, which created less competition for entry-level buyers, Rush said.

It was possible restrictions put in place by the Chinese Government restricting the amount of capital able to be taken out of China had also affected the number of investors looking to buy in New Zealand.

As for the new Government's latest proposal, to restrict the buying of existing homes to residents only, it was too soon to tell how that would affect the market, Rush said.

"We won't know the impact until sales come through and over time we can see changes in value."

In Wellington, growth was up 2 per cent in the past three months and 10 per cent over the past year.

"In Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton and Christchurch some areas have seen some growth, while other areas are flat or down slightly, while values still continue to rise moderately in all parts of Wellington, and Dunedin," Rush said.

"Nelson and the Hawke's Bay continue to see the strongest percentage growth of the other main urban areas."

Mortgage broker Bruce Patten said he'd recently had the first client in six years lose money on a house sale.

His client, an Auckland home owner, lost about $50,000 after reselling their Howick property.

"In saying that they've rebought, and bought for a lot less than they would have 18 months ago," Patten said.

The housing market was flat but Patten said he wasn't seeing house prices drop dramatically.

Part of the cooling was the general election, which had "put everything on hold for about five weeks".

"But we've noticed over the last 10 days inquiries are running hot again when prior to that people were sitting on their hands waiting to see what would happen. The world didn't end."

Patten said now was a good time to buy, especially for first-home buyers.

"As long as you're in it for the long term it doesn't matter what the market is doing right now."