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Buller District rating revaluation shows residential property values have decreased by 18% since 2013

08 Dec 2016

General overview

The Buller District Rating Revaluation for 2016 is now confirmed and property owners will soon receive a 2016 Notice of Rating Valuation with an updated rating value for their property.

The new rating valuations have been prepared on 7,876 properties on behalf of the Buller District Council by Quotable Value (QV).

 Rating valuations are fit for purpose valuations carried out on all properties in New Zealand, usually once every three years to help local councils set rates for the following three year period. Rating values are just one of a number of factors councils use to allocate rates.

The updated rating valuations should reflect the likely selling price of a property at the effective revaluation date, which was 1 September, 2016, but do not include chattels. However, council rates will not be updated based on the new 2016 rating valuations until 1 July 2017.  

Quotable Value comments

QV ratingvalue Lead Valuer, Richard Kolff said; “The overall land value of Buller District is $1.6 billion which is an 8.7% decrease from 2013, and the overall capital value is $2.75 billion which is an 8.9% decrease.

“Residential capital values have decreased by 18% and land values have decreased by 28% overall for the District.

“Westport and Reefton have seen the greatest decrease in values driven mainly by the job losses associated with the downturn in the mining industry and the closing of the Holcim cement plant has been a further influence on jobs and thus demand for housing in the Westport market.

“In Westport residential dwellings have had a drop in capital values of 20.3% and an overall reduction in land values of 35.2%. For a dwelling, the average capital value is $183,000 and the average land value is by $51,000.

“The market has shown that poorly presented properties have had a greater reduction in value than new or well-presented properties in terms of sales prices achieved on the market.

“In Reefton, the average capital value of dwellings is $148,000 and the average land value is $35,000. This represents an overall decrease in capital values of 24.6% and an overall decrease in land values of 39.7%.

“The commercial and industrial business sector has also seen a reduction in total values since the last rating revaluation in 2013, with capital values 20.6% lower than 2013 and land values 22.2% lower.

“Dairy farming dominates the rural market in Buller and the positive outlook for milk prices have led to farming prices remaining stable overall compared with the 2013 values.

“Lifestyle property value changes are more aligned to the residential market than rural, and the capital values have decreased by 13.1% and the land values have decreased by 14.5% in this sector of the market.

“Overall, value changes reflect the challenging economic conditions the Buller District has faced recently, with the greatest effects seen in the residential and business markets in Westport and Reefton.

“The current outlook for all of the region’s major industries including mining, dairying and tourism is now increasingly more positive. We expect it will not be long before that is reflected in a more active market and an upswing in values.”

What this means to the ratepayer?

It’s important to remember that while a rating valuation should reflect the likely price a property would sell for at the effective date of the rating revaluation for your district, it does not include chattels i.e. movable personal items such as curtains and appliances.

Also they are not designed to be used as a current market valuation which can be provided to banks for use in raising finance or for other legal purposes. Current market valuations require an individual inspection of a property and full written report by a Registered Valuer.

If your new rating value has changed that doesn’t necessarily mean that your rates will change; it depends on your council’s requirements and how rating values have changed over the rest of the area.

If all rating values drop by the same amount, your percentage share of the overall requirement remains the same, and so do your rates, but this does depend on your council’s funding requirements.

Other helpful information

Earlier this year, QV’s rating managers developed a concept and some key messages to help educate people on rating values, the “how and why”.  

They have finished a short video and it’s on YouTube

The actual link is available on the Council’s website (, and QV are proposing posting it on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Your new rating value will be posted to you after 13 December. If you disagree with your rating value you have the right to object. The objection close-off date is 30 January 2017. You can object online at or call 0800 787 284 to request an objection form.

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