PHOTO: OneRoof

The house price gains of 2021 are in danger of being wiped out, with the latest figures from the OneRoof-Valocity House Value Index pointing to the steady erosion of property values across much of the country.

Fergs Coffee

The nationwide average property value fell 2.9% in the last three months to $1.064 million — $21,000 below where it was at the start of the year. Hardest hit by the market slowdown, and in danger of dropping out of the $1m club, was the Greater Wellington region.

The region’s average property value tumbled 8.3% ($95,000) in the last three months to $1.046m, but worryingly for those who bought at market peak in the region, the tally is just 1.8% ahead of where it was a year ago, illustrating the extent of the region’s decline after the sharp rise of 2021.

Dragging down the region were steep value declines in Lower and Upper Hutt – down 9.1% and 11.2% respectively over the quarter, and more worryingly, down 2.3% and 2.6% year on year. The capital’s housing market has also taken a hit. Its average property value fell 10.1% ($136,000) over the quarter to $1.206m, with its best performing suburb still registering negative growth.

Vanessa Taylor

The New Zealand Property Report – June 2022 |

No other region’s house prices suffered as brutal a change as Greater Wellington’s, but feeling the squeeze over the quarter were property values in Hawke’s Bay, down 5% to $888,000, and Auckland, down 4.3% to $1.485m. Declines in another eight regions were between 0.1% and 2.9%.

The country’s best-performing region was Canterbury, with quarterly growth of 2.1% slightly up from the 1.9% it recorded in the three months to the end of May. The region’s average property value of $792,000, buoyed by strong sales activity in Christchurch, is now $138,000 ahead of where it was in June 2021.

Christchurch was the only major metro to record value growth over the quarter (+2.2% to $795,000). Queenstown-Lakes’ average property value slid 0.6% to $1.874m while Tauranga’s fell 2.7% to $1.213m. Dunedin’s average property value took a 3.6% hit, taking it back to $724,000, and Hamilton’s dropped 4.4% to $888,000.

The new figures found that a total of just over $124 billion was lost from the value of New Zealand properties in the last six months.

Thirty-eight of the country’s 72 territorial local authorities suffered value declines over the quarter, with the biggest drops outside of Greater Wellington in Auckland’s North Shore (down 6% to $1.608m) and Hastings (down 5.5% to $958,000)

Housing Crash

WARNING: New Zealand property at top of risk ranking | Bloomberg

Of the 966 suburbs that had 20 or more settled sales in the 12 months, 615 (63%) suffered value declines over the quarter, up from 488 in the three months to the end of May. The biggest drop was in Brown Owl, in Upper Hutt. The suburb’s average property value fell 13.6% ($140,000) to $886,000 over the quarter and dropped 6.6% over the last 12 months.

Of concern for new homeowners is the fact that the average property value in 454 suburbs with 20 or more settled sales in the last 12 months is lower now than what it was six months ago. And of those, 68 are in a worse position now than they were 12 months ago.

James Wilson, head of valuations at Valocity, OneRoof’s data partner, said: “The latest set of figures show the impact of inflation, rising interest rates and the CCCFA. Buyers have taken a step back and are certainly not acting with the urgency seen last year. That’s certainly true in Upper and Lower Hutt – two housing market that were powered by first home buyers in 2021.”

Mortgage lending

New residential mortgage lending plummets 30% | RBNZ

Wilson said that with the market continuing to experience low sales volumes, weekly and monthly housing market metrics were becoming increasingly volatile, “with each month appearing to reveal a new change in conditions”.