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PHOTO: New Zealand house prices keep falling. Image by

According to STUFF steep house price falls are no longer confined to Wellington and Auckland, with double-digit annual declines in many markets around the country, CoreLogic says.

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The property research company’s latest House Price Index shows prices nationwide fell 1.1% in March to an average of $933,770.

But the monthly rate of decline had picked up over the last two months, after a couple of flatter months in December and January, CoreLogic chief property economist Kelvin Davidson said.

It meant the national average price had fallen 10.5%, or $109,491 over the last year, from $1.04 million in March last year.

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“The housing market mood is pretty subdued at present, with both buyers and sellers having become accepting of tough fundamentals and lower prices,” he said.

Prices were down annually in all the main centres, and in every regional market except Queenstown, but in some markets the decline was more significant.

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Wellington remained the weakest market, with the region’s average price down 20% to $902,809 in March, from $1.12m at the same time last year.

That price trend was repeated across the region, with Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Porirua, and Wellington city down by 21%, 20.6%, 19.7%, and 19.6% respectively. Kapiti Coast prices fell by 14.8%.

The Wellington region’s average house price was down 20% annually in March.
The Wellington region’s average house price was down 20% annually in March.

Davidson said the declines reflected the region’s previous long boom, and its stretched position for housing affordability as the market entered the downturn.

In the Auckland region, the average price was down 13.1% to $1.32m, from $1.52m last year.

Every sub-market in the region had declines in the 10% to 15% range, but the biggest were in Waitakere and Manukau, both down 15.5%.

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Prices were down in Hamilton, Tauranga, and Dunedin by 8.4%, 10.6%, and 11.1% to averages of $816,620, $1.05m, and $621,007.

Christchurch continued to be the most stable of the main centres, with an annual price decline of just 2.9% to $735,926, from $757,902.last year.

Outside the main centres, five markets had annual price falls of more than 10%. They were Napier, down 15.5%; Hastings, down 14.0%; Palmerston North, down 12.4%; Whanganui, down 12.1%; and Rotorua, down 10.8%.

Queenstown was the only market where prices were up annually, although by just 0.9%, to an average of $1.69m.

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