New Zealand Property Investors' Federation

The NZPIF is the umbrella body for 17 local Property Investors' Associations throughout New Zealand.

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Home prices rise $50,000

Annual property statistics issued by Quotable Value today show a 13.3 per cent growth in national property values for the year to the end of August. The average house price was $394,397.

Last month Quotable Value reported signs that the real estate boom was slowing. The Real Estate Institute reported the median house price had fallen $5000 between May and July and that July sales were the lowest for the month in six years.

However, QV spokesman Blue Hancock said year-on-year growth remained strong. "Reduced winter listings have been matched by less buyer activity, creating a balance in the market and resulting in prices still holding up in most areas."

The Wellington region recorded growth of 16.5 per cent - the average sale price for the three months ending August was $448,267. Auckland City, Hamilton and Christchurch also scored price growth of above 14 per cent, while Invercargill retained top position with a 34 per cent increase.

In Wellington city, the prices were up 14.7 per cent and the average sale price rose to $516,000

The western suburbs of Wellington were the priciest neighbourhoods in the capital, with an average price of more than $570,000. Upper Hutt prices increased 21.5 per cent to an average $333,882 and Lower Hutt was up 20 per cent to an average $383,579.

However, the "very buoyant figures" for the Wellington region were likely to ease in coming months as consistently low levels of sale activity played out, said Max Meyers of QV Valuations.

"With this in mind, more caution should be exercised in pricing property, as ambitious pricing is highly unlikely to be covered in the current market conditions."

The Reserve Bank is expected to hold official interest rates at 8.25 per cent on Thursday.

Some economists are not expecting rates to be cut for at least a year, despite a cooling economy, a slowdown in the housing market and a drop in domestic spending.

Retail sales volumes fell 0.6 per cent in the June quarter. Spending is being hit by a combination of higher mortgage interest rates, slowing migration, a cooling housing market and higher petrol prices, reducing the amount of cash available for other goods.