Property values increased in June driven largely by the Auckland market, according to the latest QV report.
"Nationwide property values increased in June after previously remaining relatively stable for several months," said QV research director Jonno Ingerson.
"The gap in values between June this year and last year has closed to only -0.9%, and values are now 5.2% below the market peak of late 2007."
Ingerson said much of the rise in nationwide values can be attributed to increases in Auckland, where apart from a minor hiccup in March values have increased by over 2% since January.
"Across the wider Auckland area values are now 1.4% above last year and only 1% below the previous market peak of late 2007. There is variability across the Supercity with the Manukau area being more or less stable over the past three months, while North Shore and Waitakere have increased modestly. In what used to be called Auckland city increases since January mean that values are now at their highest level ever, currently sitting 0.7% above the previous market peak of late 2007," Ingerson said.
He cited a number of factors for the gains in Auckland City, including the lack of quality properties for sale, strong demand for established character locations and good school zones, plus, "the perception that purchasing in central Auckland is a safe investment."
Ingerson said values in both Hamilton and Tauranga have levelled off in recent months, down 3.6% and 1.8% on last year respectively.
Wellington is the only main centre where values have been continuing to decline in recent months.
"Values have dropped over a percent since January, and now sit 3.3% below the same time last year. Uncertainty around restructuring in the Public Sector may be causing some home owners to take a more conservative approach to the property market," Ingerson said.
Dunedin values have been a little variable since New Year, though generally flat, and are currently 3.5% below last year.
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 $412,746, up from the $404,057 reported last month.
Values in many provincial centres have risen over the last month, leading to a closing of the gap between this year and last year.
Whangarei (-4.1%), Gisborne (-3.1%), New Plymouth (-3.3%), Wanganui (-4%), Palmerston North (-2.8%) and Invercargill remain the furthest below last year.
Napier (-2.1%) and Hastings (-1.4%) values are a little below last year while in Rotorua (-0.2%), Nelson (-0.2%) and Queenstown Lakes (0.1%) values remain similar.
Ingerson said QV were not publishing results for Christchurch due to the low sales volumes, but that the announcement of red and green zones will give residents some certainty and allow them to evaluate their options.
"This will likely lead to a further increase in demand for vacant sections and houses in the undamaged parts of Christchurch and surrounding areas."