Property values continue to gradually decline and are now 5.5% below the market peak of late 2007, according to the latest QV residential property report. However the news is not all bad.
"The low level of sales activity we have seen all year continued through October, with sales well below both last year and the long term average," said QV research director Jonno Ingerson.
"There is no sign of the traditional spring surge in sales, and we don't expect any significant increase in sales before the New Year."
Since the market peak of late 2007 values dropped during 2008 to a low in early 2009, before rising again until early 2010, then beginning to decline again.
Over the last 12 months values first rose 2.8% from October 2009 to March 2010, before falling back 1.6% since March.
As a result values are still 1.1% above last year, but that gap continues to close.
"In most areas there are plenty of properties for sale, but many of these have been on the market for some time. The number of new properties coming on the market is lower than usual for this time of year," said Ingerson.
"Some owners are choosing to stay rather than sell, some potential buyers are struggling to secure funding as lending criteria remain tight, and in general buyers are taking their time over purchase decisions."
The report found that while nationwide values are declining considerable variability exists within and between areas in response to local influences.
The Auckland region is showing signs of stabilisation, while Wellington has seen values drop off steadily.
Auckland values have dropped only 1% since March while Wellington has seen a 3.4% fall in values over the same period.
Values in Hamilton and Tauranga were 1.8% and 2.5% below the same month last year.
Values in Dunedin have been variable over recent months and are now 0.9% above the same time last year.
For the combined provincial centres values have been more or less stable since June before dropping off over the last month. There is variability from centre to centre, with some increasing, others stable and others decreasing.
Queenstown has seen a 5.6% rise in value on last year when values hit their lowest point.
Values remaim above the same time last year in New Plymouth (1.2%), Wanganui (2.2%) and Nelson (1.5%). Values are similar to last year in Rotorua (0.6%), Hastings (0.7%), Napier (0.8%) and Invercargill (0%). Values are below last year in Whangarei (-4%), Gisborne (-2.7%) and Palmerston North (-1.4%).
Canterbury's property market is slowly recovering from the earthquake when the number of sales slowed dramatically in the weeks after the quake.
While sales activity has picked up in less affected areas QV said the low number means it cannot generate reliable figures, repeating the end of August value for Christchurch of 3.2% above the year earlier.