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Queenstown house prices 'race ahead'


QT-house-prices-race-aheadQueenstown is fast becoming the poster child for New Zealand's housing unaffordability.

House prices in the Queenstown Lakes are up 22 per cent on a year ago, to $875,002.

QV spokeswoman Andrea Rush says the Queenstown Lakes district is "racing ahead" as the perfect storm of high demand from tourists, locals, workers and investors all looking for accommodation meant housing costs were at a premium.

"Home values rose 9 per cent over the past three months alone and a huge 22 per cent year on year," Rush says.

Quotable Value data for May released yesterday had a national average value of $577,829, up 12.4 per cent, while wider Auckland rose 15.4 per cent to $955,793. 

Dunedin and Central Otago posted double-digit house value growth during the past year, with Dunedin values up 10.3 per cent to $323,735, while Central Otago booked a 14.7 per cent gain to $374,408.

Central Otago is experiencing strong buyer demand in towns such as Wanaka, Cromwell and Clyde. Values in the district are up 6.2 per cent over the past three months.

"The only South Island area to see values decrease over the past three months was the Westland District, down 5.3 per cent, and the Hurunui District, near Christchurch, which was down slightly by 0.2 per cent," Rush says. 

Details released yesterday of the International Monetary Fund's 2015 survey found New Zealand had the world's highest house price to income ratio.

The survey also says NZ's house price inflation is the second-fastest in the world, behind oil-rich Qatar.

A Queenstown property consultancy says it expects the local real estate boom to continue for two to three years.

Housing New Zealand has even taken advantage of the boom by selling a state house at auction last month, which sparked outrage from local social agencies.