QV stats show market flat, but not for long
Murmurs of a flattening housing market might be short lived, with some real estate agents projecting another strong year.
The latest numbers from QV show Hamilton house prices have dipped 1.1 per cent in the past three months.
This comes at the end of a year of growth, with a total 18.6 per cent increase in house prices in the year to January 2017.
Nationally, house prices have lifted 13.5 per cent in the year to January 2017, and 1.4 per cent in the last three months.
QV Waikato valuer Stephen Hare said the recent decline was an expected seasonal dip over the Christmas period.
The Hamilton market notably cooled in late 2016, and there were indications it might level out during the beginning of 2017.
‘‘You’re not seeing the strong increases in value as you were seeing a year ago,’’ Hare said.
‘‘We’ll get a clearer picture in the next quarter or so.’’
Outside of Hamilton, most of the region’s towns maintained price growth in the past three months.
House prices increased 5.3 per cent in Waipa, 8.2 per cent in South Waikato and 4.8 per cent in Waitomo.
Otorohanga had the lowest yearly growth, 9.2 per cent, and 0.5 per cent growth in the past three months.
Homebuyers were encouraged by cheaper houses in these areas, Hare said, which sustained the price increases.
Lugton’s Real Estate managing director Simon Lugton said he had seen evidence of a flattening market.
‘‘We think it’s more of an established phenomenon where the market is definitely flattening.’’
The strong increase in house prices in the past 12 months was largely due to the beginning of 2016, he said.
The number of investors in the market dived later in the year, due to the Reserve Bank hiking loan-to-value ratios in September 2016 which led to less demand for housing.
Chief executive of realestate.co.nz Brendon Skipper said there has been a ‘‘softening’’ of demand in Waikato.
Data from the property listing site showed a 5.1 per cent decrease in asking price for houses in the region.
Skipper has also seen a drop in asking price in Auckland for the first time in years.
But he was reluctant to draw any conclusions from the current climate, saying it was too soon to tell.
‘‘It is trending towards slowing down a little bit ... I wouldn’t hang my hat on it just yet.’’
Hamilton house prices soared in early 2016, but in the past three months they’ve dipped 1.1 per cent.