RTTNews - In New Zealand, residential property values declined 8.1% year-on-year in May compared to a 9.2% fall in April, a report from the QV Value said Monday. The improvement was mainly due to continued stabilization of property values in recent months, in contrast to a sharp drop 12 months ago, QV said.

The QV index is calculated for the three months ending May in comparison to the same period last year.

Glenda whitehead, spokesman with QV said, The recent buoyant activity in the residential market has been fueled by people taking advantage of lower mortgage interest rates. Established investors are now back in the market along with first home buyers and those looking to upgrade.

The national average sales prices declined slightly to NZ$371,555in May from NZ$372, 981 in April, and was down 4.1% from the same period in the previous year.

The report said there was a lack of activity at the lower end of the market, which artificially held the average prices higher, but in recent months the market composition has changed again, with the lower end becoming more active.

It is difficult to predict where property prices will go from here. The market is driven by a multitude of factors, but in the past interest rates, net migration and employment have been strong drivers.

The rapid sustained growth of the housing market over the last few years, followed by the current unusual economic conditions, have shown many of the traditional factors are not reflecting directly in the current property market in the same way they have in the past,Whitehead added in a statement.

Meanwhile, property values showed some improvement during the month in all the main regions including Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga, Christchurch as also Dunedin.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com