May 1, 2018 / 5:00 PM / a year ago

New Zealand house price growth hits 10-mth high in April - valuer

WELLINGTON, May 2 (Reuters) - New Zealand house prices rose in April at the fastest pace in 10 months, fuelled by growth outside the country’s main cities, the government property valuer said on Wednesday.

Quotable Value’s (QV) residential property price index grew 7.6 percent in the year to April, as the pace of recovery picked up from a lull towards the end of 2017 when buyers held off on large investments during an uncertain election period.

The result compared with an annual rate of 7.3 percent in the previous month.

Smaller towns and cities led the growth, notably Napier in the central North Island where prices soared 17.5 percent and Invercargill in the South Island where prices jumped 10.5 percent.

“This is partly due to the continued trend of people seeking a lifestyle change away from the cities and purchasing better-value properties in the regions,” said QV General Manager David Nagel.

House prices in the Auckland region, once the epicentre of rampant house price inflation, were up 0.8 percent in the year to April, compared with a 1 percent rise the month before. (Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield Editing by Eric Meijer)

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