'Bumper year' for property owners as first-home values rise

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Mon, 27 Dec 2021, 3:38PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

'Bumper year' for property owners as first-home values rise

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Mon, 27 Dec 2021, 3:38PM

By RNZ 

First-home owners outside the main centres are quids in when it comes to rises in property values. 

Quotable Value figures show that over the 11 months from 1 January to 30 November 2021, first-home values in Papakura in the Auckland region rose 41 per cent and 33.7 per cent in Franklin. 

In Christchurch, there was a 37 per cent rise and in Napier and New Plymouth 30 per cent rises. 

But first-home values rose even more outside of the main centres with a whopping 59.8 per cent in Stratford, 57 per cent in Waitomo, and 48 per cent in Wairoa. 

QV spokesperson Simon Petersen said it had been a "bumper year" for property values. 

"We all thought 2020 was a big year, and yet values increased by less than half as much on average as they have this year. 

"I have a feeling we're not going to see another year quite like 2021 again." 

He said despite measures designed to cool the "action-packed" market, there had been no significant decline in home values. 

"We've seen the return of loan to value ratios, rapidly rising debt-to-income ratios, high inflation, low-but-rising interest rates, and a raft of significant tax changes designed to take some of the steam out of the market. Just about the only thing we haven't seen this year is significant drops in home values." 

QV's latest figures show a substantial shift in momentum from the 25 per cent most affordable homes - the ones typically targeted by first-home buyers and investors in the lower quartile - to the 25 per cent most expensive houses in the upper quartile. 

Petersen said Auckland was a prime example of this shift in price pressure from the bottom of the property ladder to the top, with entry-level home values increasing by an average rate of 5.9 per cent in the November quarter, compared to 9.4 per cent in the upper quartile. 

"This spring swing from entry-level properties to the far more expensive homes at the top of the property ladder suggests that rising interest rates and affordability constraints are starting to bite first-home buyers, who will be finding things even more difficult right now. As a consequence, that section of the market is slowing, while people further up the ladder will still be able to use the sizeable gains they've made over the last year to trade their way up." 

"I'd expect to see this trend continue next year, with interest rates highly likely to rise further, making things even more difficult for first-home buyers in the foreseeable future," he said. 

Christchurch is the only main centre where the rate of first-home value growth has not trended downward this year - it hit an annual high growth rate of 15.3 per cent in the three months to November 2021. 

"Although we haven't yet seen any impact in Christchurch from the tightening of lending, the increase in the OCR, and rising mortgage interest rates, that will likely change in 2022," Petersen said.