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House values rise last month in 'patchy' market: QV


House values rose 4.4% in the year through January in what was a "patchy" first month for 2010.

By Paul McBeth

The average sales price rose to $409,807 last month from $404,671 in December, according to State-owned property valuer QV Valuations.

"Market activity in January appears to have been patchy," said spokeswmoan Glenda Whitehead in a statement. "While it is normal for sales activity to be at its lowest over the Christmas period, there is usually an increase in listings activity in January leading into the busiest time of the year in February and March - this January the expected increase appears to be absent."

Auckland house prices slid 8.6% last month while the number of sales in the country's largest city slumped 10%, according to Barfoot & Thompson data. Economists say the revival in New Zealand's property market may have been overstated with weak sales and low mortgage approvals indicating rising prices have been off the back of a small turnover of houses.

Whitehead said some of the "frantic market activity of 2009 when there were multiple buyers competing for a buyer, appears to have eased," though it was too early to guess at the likely pace of the market this year.

"There are also signs of increasing indecision in the market, fuelled by uncertainty over interest rates, employment, which direction property prices are likely to move and the recently announced tax working group recommendations," she said.

In Auckland, property values increased 7.3% in a rolling three-month period ending Jan. 31 from a 5.1% gain in December, while the average sale price rose to $549,028 from $535,197.

In Wellington, values increased by 5.7% in the rolling three month period, from a 4.6% gain reported in December. The average sale price rose to $460,638 from $448,652.

Christchurch property values rose 6.3% from a 4.6% gain, with the average sale price rising to $380,268 from $371,034.

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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