QV stats show mar­ket flat, but not for long

Matamata Chronicle - - Property - THOMAS MANCH

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.’’

MARK TAY­LOR/FAIR­FAX NZ

Hamil­ton house prices soared in early 2016, but in the past three months they’ve dipped 1.1 per cent.

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