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Is this the time to buy a house?

Is this the time to buy a house?

Does the stalling housing market and the abundance of stock mean it’s a good time to buy? Joanna Mathers takes a look.

By: Joanna Mathers

17 June 2024

NZ house prices continue to bob up and down, according to QV’s latest House Price Index. The quarterly figures to May 2024 showed a decrease of 0.2 per cent nationally, down slightly from the 0.1 per cent growth quarterly in April 2024.

Auckland leads the reductions with a 1.4 per cent average home value deficit this quarter – marking four straight months of negative growth.

The average value is now sitting at $923,713, which is 3.9 per cent higher than the same time last year, and 13.2 per cent ($140,052) lower than its peak in late 2021.

While this is not good news for sellers, QV operations manager James Wilson says the excess of housing stock available puts buyers in a strong position.

“Those who are in a position to buy right now have the upper hand. Purchasers are spoilt for choice and appear to have time on their side, with nothing to suggest that house prices are going to take off again soon.”

Home values

The average rate of home value growth either decreased, or the rate of decline increased, in nearly all main urban areas.

Wellington (-0.3 per cent) also recorded its first average quarterly home value reduction since the end of winter last year. Tauranga (-1 per cent), Hamilton (-0.4 per cent), Palmerston North (-0.3 per cent), and Nelson (-0.2 per cent) all experienced similarly small quarterly declines.

At the other end of the spectrum, and the country, Invercargill recorded the largest amount of home value growth at 3.2 per cent for the May quarter. Rotorua (2.5 per cent), Christchurch (1.4 per cent) and Dunedin (1.9 per cent) also recorded notable, yet still relatively modest, quarterly gains.

Price pressure

Wilson adds: “The housing market has largely stalled, and now the seasonal slowdown is well and truly upon us, with both buyers and sellers continuing to grapple with difficult economic conditions.

“Against this challenging backdrop, an excess of housing stock on the market is maintaining downward pressure on prices. Home values continue to bobble up and down from month to month and quarter to quarter, but they aren’t moving one way or the other with any real conviction.”