WELLINGTON Dec 9 New Zealand house prices edged
to a record high in November, with strong growth in the nation's
two main cities, with the central bank's lending restrictions
still not seen having much impact, government property valuer
Quotable Value (QV) said on
QV's residential property index rose 9.2 percent in the year
to Nov 30, compared with an 8.9 percent annual rate in October.
The index is now 11 percent above the market's previous peak
in late 2007.
The inflation adjusted national index fell fractionally to
post a 7.7 percent annual gain, but was still 4.3 percent higher
than the market peak.
Prices in the biggest city Auckland and earthquake damaged
Christchurch were still leading the rest of the country, with
lack of supply remaining a major factor in both cities.
Auckland prices rose 15.2 percent in the year to November,
and in Christchurch they were up 12.4 percent in the past year,
spurred by limited supply.
The government agency said limits on low deposit-high value
house loans (LVR) by banks imposed by the Reserve Bank of New
Zealand in October did not appear to be having much effect on
the growth in prices, but may be affecting activity.
"There are reports of fewer potential buyers at open homes,
longer marketing periods, and fewer auctions selling on the
day," QV research director Jonno Ingerson said in a statement.
However, he said in Auckland, where prices are still racing
ahead, the fundamental imbalance between limited supply and
growing demand would continue to drive the market.
Outside of the two main cities, price rises were more
moderate, and in some regions prices eased on the previous
(Gyles Beckford; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)