A shortage of properties for sale has pushed real estate prices in many parts of New Zealand higher than they were a year ago, according to the latest published figures.
Values in the main centres have recovered since earlier this year and most are now above what they were the same time last year.
Auckland’s residential property values for October were 2.5% higher than they were a year ago, up from the -1.1% the previous month, the data from QV shows.
In Wellington values were up 1.6%, Christchurch saw an increase of 1.3% and Dunedin was up 4.3%. Only Hamilton and Tauranga failed to improve on last year’s values, down 0.1% and 1.4% respectively.
Provincial values have faired less well. With the exception of New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Nelson, all the centres are down on last year’s prices.
QV valuation manager Glenda Whitehead said a shortage of properties, especially in urban areas, had led to more buyers than available properties, meaning many sold for well above expected values.
‘While it is clearly a good time to sell, especially in the main centres, needing to buy again in a market which has a shortage of available properties for sale will also be putting some people off,’ she explained.
She added that overall market activity remained below normal spring levels. Sales numbers had remained relatively static in the past few months, and there was little evidence of a rise in new listings in most areas.
‘The continued shortage of properties, especially in the main urban areas, is leading to a continued imbalance in the market with more buyers than available properties. As a result our valuers are seeing many properties sell for well above their expected values. These demand-based price increases are likely to continue until the balance in the market changes,’ Whitehead said.
Meanwhile there has been a lacklustre response to the government’s shared equity pilot scheme, a free financial top up scheme for modest income earners to buy properties in more expensive locations that they might not otherwise be able to afford.
Official figures show that only $1.6 million of the allocated $18.4 million has been used so far in the programme which is due to end next July.