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Average Auckland house price tops $1m

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/09/2016 Sophie Boot

The average Auckland home now costs more than $1 million as less activity fails to curb house price growth in New Zealand's biggest city, says state-owned valuer, Quotable Value.

The average value of a New Zealand home rose 15 per cent from the year earlier to $612,527 in August, still slower than the 16 per cent gain in Auckland property values which took the average value in the region to $1,013,632, QV said in a statement.

That's the first time average Auckland property values have topped $1m, and they are now 85.5 per cent higher than their previous peak of 2007.

New Zealand's housing market has been bolstered by record migration as more people compete for a limited supply of housing, while record low interest rates stoke investor demand, with the cost of servicing increasingly large mortgages making the Reserve Bank uneasy about household balance sheets.

In July, the central bank indicated it would extend mortgage lending restrictions on Auckland property investors to the rest of the country, requiring a bigger deposit and reintroducing a uniform national cap on highly leveraged owner-occupier mortgages.

At least 95 per cent of banks' lending to investors will require a 40 per cent deposit, and a 10 per cent limit for owner-occupiers wanting to take out a mortgage with a deposit of less than 20 per cent will be restored.

The restrictions will be introduced in October, having been initially due to be implemented in September, after the major banks responded to the July announcement by adopting the new rules early.

The LVR restrictions adopted by banks appear to have had an impact on housing markets in Tauranga and Hamilton as well, QV's national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said.

Hamilton's annual values rose 29 per cent to $518,387 in August while Tauranga city values gained 29 per cent to $633,638.

In the Wellington region, values rose 17 per cent in the year to an average $536,065. Napier home values increased 16 per cent to $386,615 and Hastings values advanced 15 per cent to $359,679.

In the South Island, Dunedin city home values rose 12 per cent annually to $333,890, Nelson home values gained 14 per cent to $473,624, while Christchurch's home values rose just 3.5 per cent to an average $492,766.


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