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A silver lining in NZ’s soft property market: values rise in 128 suburbs

Soft property market conditions continue across New Zealand, but there is some positive price news, with more than 120 suburbs increasing in value in the past three months.

According to CoreLogic NZs Mapping the Market tool, which reveals detailed insights into the three and 12-month change in values across 917 suburbs nationally, 128 suburbs jumped in value in the past three months.

Of those suburbs, 71 recorded a rise in median value of at least 0.5 per cent.

CoreLogic NZ Chief Property Economist Kelvin Davidson said the Kaipara District, in the Northland Region, had two top performing suburbs with values in Maungaturoto increasing 4.7 per cent, while in Kaiwaka they climbed 3.5 per cent.

But over the past 12 months 860 suburbs dropped in value, with 729 of those falling at least five per cent.

The largest falls came in 18 suburbs in the Wellington area, with drops of between 19 and 24 per cent.

Mr Davidson said the quarterly measure of housing value movements was a timelier measurement of the country’s property market downturn.

“Over the past year, 57 suburbs saw values rise with 33 of them increasing by at least 2 per cent, with the majority of these located in the lower half of the South Island,” he said.

“However, when you zoom in to the past three months that figure increases to 128 suburbs where values have risen and more than half of those are up by at least half a per cent.

“The trend shows house price falls have effectively levelled out and provides further albeit tentative evidence that the downturn may be winding up, for better or worse, depending on your perspective. 

“I’m still expecting further falls to come and there will be no neat end to the downturn rather the expectation is for a relatively subdued market, as stretched affordability and tight investor regulations contain demand and limit growth.” 

Mr Davidson said overall the widespread downturn had continued in recent months, but the floor may be close as mortgage rates peak, migration spikes, employment stays high, and credit rules loosen. 

“It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few more suburbs show increases in the next three to six months, but we do not anticipate a fresh boom,” he said.

“Indeed, mortgage rates are still high, affordability is stretched, and debt to income ratio restrictions loom large in early 2024.”

Auckland 

Property values dropped in all 195 suburbs analysed over the past 12 months, ranging from less than 5 per cent in areas such as Waiuku, Ponsonby, and Omaha, up to more than 16 per cent in Parau, Wattle Downs, and Totara Heights. 

More generally, 107 suburbs saw a drop of at least 10 per cent. 

However, in the past quarter, the number of suburbs that fell in value reduced to 165, with 14 suburbs seeing a rise of at least 0.5 per cent. 

Red Hill was the strongest performing suburb in the three months to June, with values rising 2.5 per cent. 

Hamilton 

Over the past year all 34 suburbs analysed in Hamilton fell in value, ranging from a drop of 1.8 per cent in Queenwood up to more than 11 per cent in Temple View. 

In the past three months, four suburbs saw a subtle rise in value, including Baverstock, Hamilton East, Flagstaff and Harrowfield. 

Tauranga 

There have been significant falls in median property values in 20 suburbs across Tauranga in the past year, ranging from about nine per cent in Tauranga (central), Welcome Bay, and Bellevue to 12 per cent in Otumoetai and Maungatapu. 

Otumoetai was the only suburb where values didn’t drop over the past three months,with  values remaining steady. 

Wellington

All 96 suburbs analysed in Wellington fell in value in the past year, ranging from 1.8 per cent in Te Marua, up to a decline of 21 per cent or more in Boulcott, Stokes Valley, and Southgate. 

In 80 of the suburbs, the falls have been at least 15 per cent, with a further 15 areas falling between 10 and 15 per cent. 

Over the past three months only Aotea saw values rise, while values were flat in Mount Victoria. 

Seatoun remains the most expensive suburb at $1.7 million, despite recording a $350,000 drop in price over the past year. 

At $479,1000 Wellington Central remains the cheapest area due to the large proportion of flats/apartments. 

Christchurch 

Christchurch’s 82 suburbs analysed have shown the most resilience, with Wainui seeing a rise in median values over the past year of 3 per cent. 

All other suburbs saw values fall over the past year, though areas such as Aranui, Beckenham, and Akaroa declined by less than 1 per cent, and the weakest suburb, Spreydon, has seen a drop of 9.3 per cent. 

Over the past three months, 11 suburbs saw values rise, with Templeton the strongest, up 1 per cent. 

Fendalton and Kennedys Bush are still Christchurch’s most expensive areas, with median values of at least $1.6 million. 

Values in Waltham, Linwood, and Phillipstown are the most affordable at sub-$500,000. 

Dunedin 

Of the 62 Dunedin suburbs analysed, all saw a drop in median values in the year to June – ranging from a modest 0.3 per cent fall in Vauxhall, up to 13 per cent or more in Roslyn, North Dunedin, and Saint Leonards. 

However, nine suburbs saw values rise over the quarter, ranging from a 0.2 per cent increase in Brockville to a 1.9 per cent lift in Normanby. 

Maori Hill is still Dunedin’s most expensive area ($973,100), down from $1.1 million a year ago. 

South Dunedin is the cheapest, with a median of around $405,000.

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