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WELLINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) - New Zealand house prices rose in February, with red-hot Auckland slowing down as further flung cities picked up.
Quotable Value's (QV) residential property price index rose 13.5 percent in the year to February, the same rate as the previous month.
The index is now 52.4 percent above the market's previous peak in late 2007.
Encouragingly for the central bank, which has raised concerns over booming house prices, there were signs of cooling in Auckland, which has been the epicentre of home inflation.
House prices in the Auckland region were up 12.8 percent in the year to February, but quarterly prices dipped 0.7 percent as loan-to-value limits introduced by the central bank last year curbed investment.
"Properties at the lower end of the market in suburbs popular with investors tend to be not selling for the same premiums they were before the new LVRs (loan-to-value ratios) came in," said James Steele, QV Auckland homevalue manager.
Prices in nearby Hamilton also slowed by 0.8 percent in the quarter, while those in the capital Wellington rose 4.3 percent and Dunedin soared 5.3 percent. (Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Kim Coghill)