Queenstown Lakes has posted one of the the largest year-on-year increases in home values in the country.

Quotable Value December data indicated the district was up 31.6% to $1.02 million, compared with the corresponding month in 2015.

The QV data showed December house values nationally were up 12.5% to $627,905 on a year ago. Dunedin was up 14.6% at $354,133 and Central Otago up 15.7% to $398,063.

As prices eased elsewhere around the country, Auckland overall was still up 12.2% on a year ago at $1.04 million, remaining just ahead of Queenstown, which first hit more than $1 million in November.

Nationally, house values were now 51.5% higher than the previous market peak in 2007.

QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said there was a continuing trend of a slowing rate of value growth, activity and demand, in some places in December.

The trend had been identified in many main centres since the introduction of the Reserve Bank's loan to value ratio restrictions (LVRs), which now require a minimum 40% deposit for investment properties, she said.

''This, coupled with the annual Christmas holiday period slow-down, led to a decrease in values in some parts of Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch since November,'' she said.

Dunedin house values continue to rise.

Dunedin market strong 

 In Dunedin, there had ''so far been no evident slowing'' in the housing market because of the new LVRs, and value levels continued to increase and sales activity had remained strong throughout the Christmas period, Ms Rush said.

''This is likely to be due to the fact the Dunedin housing market offers a much lower entry level and price point than the other main centres."

Therefore, it was easier for investors to find the 40% deposit to buy in Dunedin and investors had remained active in the city.

Dunedin-based QV registered valuer Duncan Jack said there was anecdotal evidence at the end of 2016 of multiple offer scenarios around the city and high numbers of people attending open homes was commonplace.

''The LVR changes have had little effect on the Dunedin market and there's been no sign of the traditional Christmas period slow-down in the market here,'' Mr Jack said.

Value levels in Dunedin continued to steadily increase, sales activity levels also remained strong and properties were selling quickly.

Ms Rush said in summer last year there had been a trend of a plateauing or decrease in Auckland values following introduction of the initial 30% LVRs for the Super City region only.

''In 2016, the Auckland market then picked up in March, which is usually the busiest month of the year, and it's possible we may see this happen again,'' she said.

However, Ms Rush said if mortgage interest rates continued to rise in 2017 that might further reduce demand from investors and lead to a longer period of lower value growth.

Conversely, any slow-down would be balanced by the fact the market was still being driven by strong net migration, relatively low interest rates and a lack of supply compared to the demand, particularly in Auckland, Ms Rush said.

Source:ODT

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