NZ’s house market tops $1 trillion, Kiwis owe $248b in mortgages

NZ's house market tops $1 trillion, Kiwis owe $248b in mortgages

The value of all New Zealand residential real estate has reached a new high, now standing at $1.07 trillion of which 23 per cent or $248b is borrowed in home loans, according to new research released today.

CoreLogic NZ has just issued its monthly property market and economic update for March which highlighted rising values.

“The value of residential property continues to grow beyond one trillion dollars, outperforming the value of other asset classes. Residential mortgages are secured against 23 per cent of this value,” the report said.

The Reserve Bank has long held fears about New Zealanders’ appetite for housing and says: “Housing is a central part of the New Zealand economy and accounts for around half of the assets of New Zealand households.”

CoreLogic contrasted house values with the values of other asset classes: NZX listed stocks at $130b, commercial and industrial real estate at $201b and NZ Super and KiwiSaver at $79b.

Last month, the Property Institute and market data provider Valocity highlighted a big jump in residential values between 2015 and 2018 and said the combined stock of residential housing in New Zealand is now worth $941.611b, up from $667.718b in 2015.

CoreLogic said New Zealand house values were continuing to hold up well: Dunedin and Wellington values are 9 per cent higher than a year ago although Christchurch values are down 1 per cent from February last year to February this year.

Nationally, house values grew by 7 per cent annually to February, CoreLogic found.

Net migration is easing downwards but the falls are very gentle and inflows are still at a high level historically, CoreLogic said.

Nick Goodall, CoreLogic research head, said: “A key migration statistic we watch for is the balance with Australia: this is currently in New Zealand’s favour, but it’s historically been the swing factor and when it changes, it can drop very quickly.”

The Property Institute and Valocity said last month:
• Auckland is now worth $469 billion (up from $344 billion in 2015)
• Wellington is now worth over $88 billion (up from around $60 billion in 2015)
• Christchurch is now worth over $67 billion (up from around $60 billion in 2015)
• Tauranga is now worth over $34 billion (up from around $21 billion in 2015)
• Hamilton is now worth around $28 billion (up from around $18 billion in 2015)
• Dunedin is now worth almost $17 billion (up from around $12 billion in 2015).

Ashley Church, institute chief executive, said: “We don’t tend to think of residential property as part of the productive sector of the economy – but when you see the growth in house values, like this, as a combined figure, you can appreciate that the country is now worth more and that our common wealth as a nation has increased.

“That has all sorts of positive implications for things like lower interest rates, improvements in international indicators, and an improvement in our preparedness for increased numbers of kiwis entering retirement,” Church said.

“The report also tells us that houses are now even more expensive – and not just in Auckland – which means it’s even harder to get into the market than it was 3 years ago.

“It also means that the baseline cost for ‘affordable’ housing programs – such as Kiwibuild – will keep increasing as land and building costs increase. That’s a strong argument to get those houses built as quickly as possible,” Church said.

– NZHerald

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