Wellington house prices continue to rise as the Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Christchurch markets slow, according to latest figures from Government valuation agency Quotable Value.
The latest monthly QV House Price Index shows nationwide residential property prices for March increased 12.9 per cent over the past year.
Prices rose 0.6 per cent over the past three months and the average price nationwide is $631,432 - 52.4% above the previous market peak of late 2007.
But when adjusted for inflation the annual increase nationwide is 28.5 per cent above the 2007 peak.
House prices in the wider Wellington region are up 21.2 per cent year on year and 3.7 per cent over the past three months, with prices now 30.7 per cent higher than in the 2007 peak. The average price across the region is now $595,501.
The LVR restrictions continue to dampen parts of the market- QV Auckland homevalue manager James Steele
"The Wellington region continues to see some of the strongest value growth of any area in New Zealand, particularly in more affordable areas outside the central city such as Porirua and the Hutt Valley," said QV national spokesperson Andrea Rush.
Prices across the Auckland region increased 12.3 per cent year on year and quarterly growth has dropped by 0.2 per cent over the past three months.
The average price in the Auckland region is now $1.045 million, and prices are now on average 91.3 per cent higher than the previous peak 10 years ago.
"Sales volumes are down on what they were this time last year as the LVR restrictions continue to dampen parts of the market," said QV Auckland homevalue manager, James Steele.
"However, the top end of the market where cash buyers are not affected by the LVRs continues to see strong value growth with the upmarket suburbs selling more readily and are seeing stronger value growth than those in cheaper parts of Auckland such as the city's southern and western outskirts."
Hamilton prices have risen 15.7 per cent year on year and decreased slightly by 0.4 per cent over the past three months to be 47.4 per cent higher than the 2007 peak. The average price in Hamilton is now $532,888.
The Tauranga market continues to rise but at a much slower rate than prior to the LVR restrictions introduced late last year.
It's possible we may see values start to rise in these main centres in coming months- QV national spokesperson Andrea Rush
Prices in Tauranga City are up by 18.3 per cent year on year and 0.6 per cent over the past three months. The average value in the city is now $676,381.
Christchurch prices are rising again in all areas apart from Banks Peninsula after seeing a downward trend following the LVRs.
Christchurch prices increased 2.4 per cent year on year, 0.6 per cent over the past three months and are now 31 per cent higher than the 2007 peak. The average price in the city is now $497,120.
Ms Rush said values continue to rise steadily in Tauranga and Dunedin, which remains New Zealand's most affordable city, with an average price of $363,821.
"Meanwhile, values in parts of Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch are still seeing a slight downward trend, but values are stabilising and continuing to rise in other parts of these main centres as well," she said.
"This means the downward trend and dampening in these markets seen since the latest round of LVR restriction may be shallower than expected.
"It's possible we may see values start to rise in these main centres in coming months given that the market is still being driven by a high number of sales to investors, record high net migration, relatively low interest rates, a lack of supply and fewer taxes on property investment than many other countries."
Areas just south of Auckland continue to see strong growth with South Waikato District prices up 35.7% year on year.
The MacKenzie District once again saw the South Island's highest annual price growth, up 30.6 per cent year on year and 9.5 per cent over the past three months.
Central Otago District was also up 22.8 per cent year on year and a huge 10 per cent over the past three months.
Queenstown Lakes saw a 28.5 percent rise year on year and 2 per cent over the past three months to a new average price of $1.042 million.