New Zealand property values have risen at the slowest pace in two years as low-equity lending restrictions weighed on new home buyers, but in Auckland prices continued to accelerate, according to state-owned valuer Quotable Value.

Property values rose 5.9 per cent nationwide in October from a year ealier, slowing from an annual pace of 6.4 per cent in September, and the weakest increase since October 2012, according to QV.

Housing values are now 16.9 per cent above the previous market peak in 2007.

Last October the Reserve Bank restricted mortgage lending via a loan-to-value ratio in a bid to take the steam out of a bubbling property market in Auckland and Christchurch.

“Home loan approval rates have not increased, listings are also lower than normal for spring and sales are around 12 per cent below that they were this time last year,” QV’s Andrea Rush said in a statement.

“Banks are now offering competitive interest rates following a halt in any further hikes being signalled by the Reserve Bank. However, the LVR restrictions mean banks are targeting well established customers rather than new lenders.”

Research shows property investors made up between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of all property sales in New Zealand, Ms Rush said.

QV figures show property values rose 1.1 per cent over the three months through October, unchanged from the pace in the three months through September, and slower than the 1.7 per cent pace in the three months through August.

QV said Auckland city property values rose 7.7 per cent on an annual basis, and three per cent over the past three months, suggesting a “definite lift from the winter quarter”, while Manukau central gained 12 per cent in the year and 4.1 per cent in the three month period.

Christchurch city values increased 4.3 per cent on a yearly basis and 0.5 per cent in the quarter, QV said.

Wellington values increased 2.3 per cent in the year and edged up 0.1 per cent in the three month period, and recorded the country’s largest increase in new property listings.

By Suze Metherell