House prices up 6.6 per cent across NZ last year, sales volumes plunge

The national average house price rose 6.6 per cent, or 41,600, during 2017, to stand at just under $670,000 in December.

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image
For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

The average national value increased 3.6 per cent over the final three months of last year, according to the latest QV House Price Index statistics. 

According to QV the average national value increased 3.6 per cent over the final three months of 2017. 

Sales volumes were down on 2016 for every month during the year, and between February and October they were more than 20 per cent below 2016 levels.

We saw a return to more normal levels of activity in housing markets around the country - Andrea Rush, QV national spokesperson

Sales picked up in November when a post-election late spring surge saw them jump to just 10 per cent lower than November 2016 levels.

"A slow-down in the rate of value growth in the housing market that began in the latter part of 2016 with the introduction of LVR speed limits requiring a 40 per cent deposit by investors continued throughout 2017," said QV national spokesperson, Andrea Rush.

"The frenzy in the market of the previous three years induced by high numbers of investors in the market subsided and we saw a return to more normal levels of activity in housing markets around the country," she said.

By October nationwide annual value growth had slowed to 3.9%, the lowest rate of growth seen in five years and for the Auckland Region it slowed to -0.6%, the slowest annual rate of growth seen there since March 2011, Ms Rush said.

Auckland prices up 0.4 per cent in year

The average value across the wider Auckland region increased 0.4 per cent, or $4,583, from $1.047 million at December 2016 to $1.051 million last month. 

Auckland values rose 1.2 per cent over the past three months. Annual growth picked up again across the region in the final quarter of 2017 with most areas seeing values rising again. 

Prices across the wider Wellington region rose 9.4 per cent, or $ 54,040, over the past year from an average value of $574,410 in December 2016 to $628,450 at the end of 2017. Values across the region rose 3.6 per cent over the last quarter of 2017.

South Island prices

Christchurch city values have remained stable, dropping slightly by 0.1 per cent over the past year from an average value of $494,247 in December 2016 to $493,706 last month. Christchurch prices have increased slightly by 0.4% over the past quarter.

Meanwhile, prices across most South Island regional centres are either flat or steadily increasing. 

The MacKenzie District continues to rise, up 5.2 per cent over the past three months and 24.7 per cent year on year, the highest annual rise in the country, while Southland and Invercargill are also continuing on an upward trend. 

Market growth remains strong in the Queenstown Lakes, as values increase 3 per cent over the past three months with an average current value now much higher than the Auckland Region of $1.111 million.  

Many are still swapping out the big cities for the quiet life in the regions. Source: 1 NEWS



Police investigations and search for pilot underway after Carterton school students were hospitalised

A police investigation is underway at the Carterton school where 10 primary school children were taken to Wairarapa Hospital after falling ill yesterday afternoon.

Emergency services were called to South End School at approximately 1pm yesterday with reports of an unpleasant smell.

Paramedics treated 40 other people - children and adults - with minor symptoms and over 100 people had to go through a decontamination process.

Police searched the school grounds this morning but were unable to find the source of the smell, Wairarapa Area Commander Inspector Scott Miller said.

"Witnesses have described seeing a grey and white or red and white plane, possibly a Cessna, flying near the school between 1.30 and 2.30pm yesterday," Inspector Miller said.

While there is no evidence to indicate the plane is the source of the smell, though Inspector Miller says they'd like to speak to the pilot.

"The CAA is also trying to locate the aircraft."

Board Chair Brian Chin says children who left their belongings at the school last night will be able to collect them on Monday, when school "resumes as normal".

"A debrief with staff with happen next week." 

Parents waiting outside South End School.
Parents waiting outside South End School. Source: 1 NEWS

Anyone living close to the school with any further information is urged to get in touch with Masterton Police on (06) 370 0300.

A plane is suspected of accidentally spraying the school with pesticide and several children have been hospitalised. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Man dies after becoming trapped under vehicle while pushing it down driveway in Auckland

A person has died after becoming trapped under a vehicle in Highland Park, East Auckland.

Police confirmed that emergency services were required to attend an incident that occurred on private property at around 12:15pm today.

Initial reports suggest the man was pushing a vehicle down a driveway when he somehow became trapped underneath it.

His next-of-kin have been notified and the death will be referred to the Coroner.

Ambulance Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

'Laying in a pool of blood' - One dead, another arrested following stabbing at family harm incident in Papamoa

A man is dead and another has been arrested after a family harm situation in Papamoa this morning.

A local man in his 20s has been arrested in relation to the death of a man in his 40s, who was fatally stabbed at about 8.30am this morning.

Police say that no one else has been injured and no one else is being sought in relation to the death.

Police assure there is no risk to the public.

Neighbour Todd Madden, who was walking to their car on the front lawn with his 6-year-old, told NZ Herald they saw a "young guy covered in blood" in a driveway.

"[He] yelled at me to call the police."

"Police arrived and he laid down on the ground and I grabbed the two kids."

The children told him there was a victim inside "laying in a pool of blood".

"They had been crying loudly for about 30 minutes but I just thought they were being naughty - I wished I had've gone over earlier."

Source: 1 NEWS


New rules allow ministers' nannies to travel on the taxpayer, but PM will cover Clarke Gayford's US trip

New rules for ministers with babies who are travelling overseas allow them to to take a nanny or carer paid for by taxpayers. 

However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she does not expect the taxpayer to pay for both her partner, Clarke Gayford, and a carer for their baby Neve, NZ Herald reports.

Ms Ardern and Mr Gayford, along with their baby, are travelling to New York today for Leaders' Week for the UN General Assembly.

The prime minister says that she will be paying for her partner's flights, since there are not many engagements for partners.

"There is no spousal programme for this, so we just made a judgment call that we would cover his travel for this trip. He will be going to some things, but he's primarily travelling to care for Neve."

After Ms Ardern became prime minister, the guidelines for ministers' overseas travel were reviewed and changed, reports the Herald.

Now, a minister with young infants is allowed to take someone, other than a partner, to care for that child or for a minister with a disability to take a support person if needed.

Ms Ardern said she never sought for the change and did not intend to use the entitlement for herself, and would only allow it for ministers in "exceptional circumstances."

The prime minister signs off on all ministerial travel overseas, other than to Australia, including deciding whether partners can travel with ministers and who pays for them.

Other ministers with young babies currently include the Green Party's Julie Anne Genter and Education Minister Chris Hipkins, whose partner had a second child this week.

Ms Ardern told the Herald she did not expect to have travel with more than one person, but if there was a situation which required both Mr Gayford and another carer for Neve, she would pay for that extra person out of her own pocket.

"We are playing it by ear. There is no set plan, it's just whether or not she's getting enough sleep, where I am for feeds. They might be with us a lot, they might just be in the hotel,” she said.

In New York, Ms Ardern is also staying in apartment-type accommodation rather than the usual hotel because kitchen facilities were needed for Neve.

Ms Ardern said she had made sure it did not cost more than was usual.

Jacinda Ardern, Clarke Gayford and baby Neve. Source: 1 NEWS