Property values increased by 11.1 percent in 2020, according to the CoreLogic House Price Index (HPI).

But that figure masks wide variation across different parts of the country. And it doesn't tell us exactly how much more it costs to buy a property in different places now, compared to a year ago.

An 11 percent increase in Auckland and an 11 percent increase in Invercargill have very different impacts on affordability.

The chart below shows how much the average property value changed in each council area during the course of 2020.

Made with Flourish

While much of the national media focus is on Auckland house prices, their dollar value increase in the CoreLogic survey ranked 12th, while the greater Wellington region saw the biggest increases in dollar terms during 2020. In South Wairarapa District, which includes boutique towns like Martinborough and Greytown, the average value is up by more $140,000.

Porirua and Kapiti Coast properties saw similar increases and values are up by more than $100,000 in all other parts of the Wellington region.

Other places with a greater than six-figure increase include Gisborne and Tauranga, where the latter now has an average value pushing up towards $900,000.

At the other end of the spectrum are the tourist towns of the South Island. In Queenstown-Lakes and MacKenzie districts – the two areas most hit by the loss of international tourism – values are up by less than $10,000.

In the neighbouring Waimate, Southland, Grey, Buller and Westland districts, increases are similarly modest.

There was one council area in which values fell in 2020, according to the HPI: Wairoa District on the East Coast of the North Island, where the average value fell by $21,000 to less than $247,000 in 2020. 

Although with an estimated population of less than 9,000 there probably aren't a lot of properties sold in Wairoa.