New Zealand Property Investors' Federation

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

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Values growing at slower pace

House values rose 5.5% in the year through February, though the speed of growth is beginning to slow down, according to QV Valuations.

By Paul McBeth

The average sales price rose to $416,074 last month from $409,807 in January, QV said.

"The annual change in values across New Zealand has continued to increase from last month, but this is masking what has happened in the most recent months," said spokeswoman Glenda Whitehead.

"We expect values to stabilise over the coming months reflecting the ongoing uncertainty around economic factors such as unemployment, pending interest rate rises and continued tight lending criteria."

More Auckland home owners are looking to sell their properties with the city's largest real estate agent Barfoot & Thompson logging the highest number of listings since March last year. House sales fell near a 20-year low in January as fears over what the government will do to property tax and high unemployment dented people's confidence in the market after it revived the economy last year.

Whitehead said sales activity picked up in February and is "back to similar levels to that observed throughout 2009".

The higher number of listings is expected to translate into more sales in the coming months, she said.

"The market remains patchy and buyers cautious," she said. "Well presented, good quality properties are continuing to sell quickly and at healthy values, whereas those with less desirable attributes are proving hard to shift."

In Auckland, property values increased 8.7% in a rolling three-month period ending February 28 from a 7.3% gain in January, while the average sale was stable at $549,028.

In Wellington, values increased by 6.7% in the rolling three month period, from a 5.7% gain reported in January. The average sale price rose to $468,698 from $460,638.

Christchurch property values rose 6.9% from a 6.3% gain, with the average sale price edging up to $380,925 from $380,268.

To find out what's happening in the main regions, see QV regional snapshot - February 2010 .