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New Zealand house prices climb in May

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New Zealand house prices rose in May, the government property valuer said on Wednesday, driven by strong investment and the surging Auckland property market.

[WELLINGTON] New Zealand house prices rose in May, the government property valuer said on Wednesday, driven by strong investment and the surging Auckland property market.

Quotable Value's (QV) residential property price index increased 12.4 per cent in the year to May, compared with an annual rate of 12 per cent in the previous month.

The index is now 39.5 per cent above the market's previous peak in late 2007.

"Residential property values are rising rapidly across Auckland again and they also continue to accelerate in many other parts of the country, with much of the activity driven by strong demand from investors," QV spokeswoman Andrea Rush said in a statement.

House prices in the Auckland region were 15.4 per cent higher in the year to May, compared with a 16.5 per cent rise the month before.

Many regional cities were also posting strong growth with South Island tourism hotspot Queenstown, rising 22 per cent.

REUTERS