First home

PHOTO: First-time buyers. FILE

The housing market has experienced another increase in value, driven by a growing presence of first-time buyers. According to the most recent QV House Price Index, the three-month period ending in September showed modest growth, with average home values rising by 0.9 percent compared to the previous three months ending in August.

James Wilson, the operations manager at Quotable Value (QV), described the current market as relatively stable but noted signs of rejuvenation. He emphasized that the recovery is primarily being propelled by first-time homebuyers. He also mentioned that this trend is extending beyond just entry-level housing markets for the first time.

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Nationally, the average house value stood at $899,256, with positive growth observed in most major urban centers. Invercargill led with a 3.2 percent increase, followed by Auckland (1.6 percent), Wellington (1.5 percent), and Queenstown (0.9 percent) among the top performers. The exception was New Plymouth, where values dropped by 1.5 percent in September, marking the second-largest decline in average home values, with 1.8 percent decreases in Whangārei and Nelson.

Wilson noted a shift in mindset within urban centers, even mentioning some momentum in Wellington after experiencing significant declines since late 2021. He also attributed a return to record migration as a factor driving demand.

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The competitive environment in the market has exerted upward pressure on prices, as the number of new property listings has remained relatively stagnant. Although there has been some clearance of older housing stock that had been on the market for a while, the typical spring surge in listings has not yet materialized. Wilson suggested that an increase in residential property listings may occur after the election, provided that the weather permits. However, he acknowledged ongoing uncertainty and the influence of strong economic headwinds on market dynamics.

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