New Zealand property values are beginning to stabilise, though sales volumes remain relatively low, according to the latest QV residential property indices for November.
This time last year values were steadily increasing from a low in early 2009. This increase continued until March 2010, when values began to steadily decline. As a result the gap between values this year and last year has closed further to 0.3%.
The rate of decline has slowed in recent months and values, at 5.6% below the market peak of late 2007, appear to be stabilising.
"There continues to be a relatively low number of house sales, as has been the case for most of the year. Securing funds from banks remains difficult for some potential buyers, while others are taking their time over purchase decisions," said QV research director Jonno Ingerson.
"Not all parts of the market remain slow moving however, with QV valuers in the main centres still seeing quality properties in established and traditional areas selling quickly for good prices. This is in contrast to the large number of properties that have now sat unsold for several months."
Ingerson said there has been an increase in the number of properties put on the market typical for the time of year, which with the low level of sales had increased the stock of unsold homes.
Nationwide QV said there were signs values were beginning to stabilise, with the strongest signs seen in Auckland where values have been stable for several months.
Compared to a year earlier values are now 1.8% higher, though most of this increase occurred between November 2009 and March this year. After falling slightly for a couple of months, values have been more of less stable since June.
Hamilton and Tauranga have also seen values stabilise over the past couple of months after slight declines for most of the year.
Hamilton is now 1.6% below the same time last year, and Tauranga 0.9% below.
In contrast to other main centres Wellington has seen the biggest drop since March this year, with values now 1.6% below the same time last year.
The property market in Canterbury is beginning to recover from the September 4 earthquake. While there have been very few sales in areas that suffered major damage properties with little or no damage are attracting strong interest.
However, citing the significant slowdown in sales QV said it had been unable to measure the change in property values in Christchurch, though preliminary results show property values have bounced back with October 3.2% higher than the pre-earthquake trend.
Values in Dunedin have been variable in recent months, but have been in general decline all year and are now 1.2% below a year ago.
Values remain above the same time last year in Wanganui (1.3%) and Nelson (1.9%).
Values are similar to last year in Rotorua (0.9%), Hastings (0.6%) and Napier (0.9%), New Plymouth (-0.6%) and Queenstown Lakes (0.9%).
Values are below last year in Whangarei (-2.1%), Gisborne (-5.1%), Palmerston North (-1.3%) and Invercargill (-1.7%).