House values slumped further in the year to January, says Quotable Value, opening up good buying opportunities in a climate of lower interest rates and keen sellers.
The country's houses lost 8.3 per cent of their value in the 12 months to January.
That followed a 7.4 per cent drop for the December year in QV's index, which is calculated over the past three months' market figures. The average house sale price is now $382,762.
QV Valuations spokesman Blue Hancock said the low number of sales was typical for the summer holiday period.
Lower home loan interest rates were not stimulating buyer activity because of buyers' concerns over job security and a more cautious approach to lending by institutions.
But a positive sign for a recovery was more investors returning to the market, said Mr Hancock.
Auckland and Tauranga values slipped by 9 per cent in the past year, Hamilton and Whangarei by 10 per cent, Rotorua by 11.9 per cent and Gisborne by 10.6 per cent.
Wellington dropped 8.5 per cent, Christchurch 8.8 per cent and Dunedin 8.3 per cent.
Auckland QV spokeswoman Glenda Whitehead said the average sale price for the region was $496,618, presenting good buying opportunities.
Suburbs such as Otara, Manurewa, Papatoetoe and Mangere experienced a decline in values to the extent where $220,000 would buy a well-presented three-bedroom home with garaging.
North Shore property fared poorly, going down 11.9 per cent for the year. The average house sale price was $624,221.
House values in Auckland City's eastern suburbs dropped 8.6 per cent and the average sales price was $747,124.
Chris Coakley, of QV Valuations Hamilton, said the average sale price for the city was $342,347.