A flattening of house price values in Auckland helped residential property values remain relatively stable at a national level across April, according to the latest QV report for April.
"Nationwide property values have now been relatively stable for several months after falling slightly throughout most of 2010. Values are now 1.9% lower than the same time last year, and 5.8% below the market peak of late 2007," said QV research director Jonno Ingerson.
"The leveling of nationwide values was initially due to a flattening of values in the Auckland market, but there are now increasing signs of values stabilising in many other areas also."
Ingerson said in Auckland, values had remained within a narrow band for the last 18 months, and had been slightly variable over recent months.
"There is little evidence at this stage of values moving significantly up or down. Currently values in Auckland are 0.5% below the same time last year," he said.
Wellington values were 3.4% below last year, with most of the fall coming in 2010, and over the past six months have been moving within a narrow band.
Values in Hamilton sand Tauranga are 3.5% and 1.7% respectively below last year but Ingerson said both regions had seen values flatten off in recent months.
Values in Dunedin have dropped more over the past year than other main centres, though Ingerson said they too had been stabilising in recent months.
"Market sentiment remains patchy with some areas lacking quality listings to satisfy buyer demand, while other areas have little buyer demand despite plenty of houses for sale. In general properties with desirable attributes, or those that represent good value, are still selling well," Ingerson said.
He said the lack of sales activity in Christchurch since the February earthquake meant QV had not generated an index for the area, though he said local valuers are seeing plenty of interest in quality properties in relatively unaffected areas.
Despite values levelling on recent months in many provincial areas, none currently have valued above the same time last year.
This recent levelling of values, couple dwith declining values last year, means that the gap between this year and last year is closing in many areas.
Whangarei values are 5.2% lower than last year, Gisborne (-4.6%), New Plymouth (-4.5%), Palmerston North (-3.7%) and Invercargil (-3.9%), all have seen the largest gap in values compared to last year.
Rotorua (-1%), Hastings (-1.4%), Napier and Wanganui (-2.4%) and Queenstown Lakes (-1.3%) all have values slightly below last year.
In Nelson values have been relatively stable since January 2010 and as a result the gap between last year and this year is only -0.7%.
While unrelated to the QV index, and a less reliable measure of value change, the average New Zealand sales price over the last three months is $405,310, up from the $400,656 figure a month earlier.