Queenstown, Central Otago and Dunedin house value growth remains two to three times above the annual national average, but cracks appearing in the quarterly data show prices easing.

According to Quotable Value data released yesterday, Queenstown's values are again higher than the wider Auckland region, by about $44,500, as Queenstown July values are at $1.09million and wider Auckland $1.04million, albeit eight suburban Auckland areas remain well above Queenstown.

QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said July's nationwide residential property values had increased 6.4% on a year ago which was the slowest annual rate since February 2015.

Quarter on quarter, national values rose 1.6%, leaving the nationwide average value at $641,280.

She said the July index showed nationwide values were still rising, but that growth was now being driven by regional and provincial centres, rather than by the largest cities.

''Much of the slowdown in the markets is being caused by high prices and banks' stricter lending criteria, meaning it's difficult for many buyers to raise finance to purchase and this is now constraining the market,'' Ms Rush said.

QV's Dunedin registered valuer Aidan Young said the Dunedin residential property values had continued to rise, but at a slower rate than earlier in the year, as quarterly growth slowed to 0.6% during the past three months.

''Demand for residential property in Dunedin remains strong and there are very low listing levels but the rate of value growth has slowed over the winter months,'' he said.

Following the recent value growth in Dunedin city, Mr Young said first-home buyers were now more active in nearby regional centres, such as Milton and Balclutha, where entry level property was more affordable.

Dunedin's average house value was now $373,857, having risen the most during the past quarter in Taieri, up by 2.1%, while values on the Peninsula and Coastal areas dropped by 2.7% over the same period.

Ms Rush said the Queenstown market had begun rising after a period of ''relatively flat growth'', being up 4.9% during the past three months, which may have been driven by strong value growth at the top end of the market there.

Central Otago has also had values rise 4.8% during the same period and they continue to rise in the MacKenzie and Clutha districts, Ms Rush said.

She noted both Dunedin and Wellington were now also experiencing a similar trend where quarterly value growth in both cities was slowing, to below 1%.

''Record high net migration continues yet building consents are now trending downwards, so the underlying demand and lack of supply for homes remains in the market, particularly in Auckland,'' she said.

It was likely those trends would continue for the rest of the winter and many buyers and sellers were taking a ''wait and see approach'' until after winter and the September election, Ms Rush said.

Source:ODT

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