Average Otago house prices continue to track close to the national averages, except Dunedin which has slipped into negative territory during the past three months.

Queenstown Lakes also took a quarterly hit, but remained almost 40% up on the national average price.

As has been the case for the past two years, Christchurch and Auckland continue to lead average and median prices, values and price expectations, with volatility reigning in most other areas.

In government agency Quotable Value (QV) data released recently, spokesperson Andrea Rush said values in the provincial centres were variable, with many decreasing or flat, but some areas had rising property values.

Dunedin-based QV registered valuer Duncan Jack said that Dunedin city home values had decreased slightly, by 0.4%, during the past three months, but were 1.3% higher than in August last year.

''The residential property market across the city is showing a slight downward trend over the past three months with values in all areas down slightly,'' he said.

He noted the greatest number of sales has been in the range below $300,000, with 75% of all recent sales occurring at this level in recent times.

However, there also remained ''relatively good demand'' for good-quality, well-presented homes in the above-$350,000 range, a trend during the past months and since the loan-to-value ratio restrictions on banks were brought in last October.

Nationally, residential property values for August increased 6.9% during the past year and 1.7% over the past three months - meaning they were now 15.8% above the previous market peak of late-2007.

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