New Zealand’s housing market decline has again accelerated with the country’s property values now down nearly 9 percent on this time last year.
The latest house price index from property research firm CoreLogic showed monthly property values fell 1 percent in February compared with January’s 0.3 percent fall.
Looking at the annual figures, prices were down 8.9 percent from February 2022.
CoreLogic chief property economist Kelvin Davidson said demand was being restrained by the Reserve Bank’s (RBNZ) interest rate hikes.
“Despite mortgage rates being at or close to a peak, the RBNZ’s grim outlook for inflation and the economy more broadly was always going to weigh further on property values.
“After the post-COVID housing boom, affordability got so stretched that a downturn had become a very real risk by the second half of 2021 when mortgage rates started to rise again.”
Property values dropped across all of New Zealand’s main centres in February apart from Christchurch, which experienced a modest 0.4 percent rise.
Prices in Wellington alone declined 19.7 percent for the year, 2.6 percent for the quarter and 1.6 percent for the month.
“It’s worth noting the wider Wellington area has seen some of the sharpest and earliest drops in prices, which have helped housing affordability to improve significantly,” Davidson said.
In Auckland, the average property value slid to $1.33 million in February – down 1.4 percent on the previous month.
Looking at New Zealand’s other main centres, Dunedin’s values were down 1.5 percent month on month while Hamilton and Tauranga saw respective drops of 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent.