Housing market sentiment cools

by NZ Adviser27 Jan 2016
Auckland’s housing measures continue to show their impact, with price expectations continuing to cool, ASB’s quarterly survey of housing market sentiment reveals.

The RBNZ’s new housing measures aimed at regulating Auckland investor activity have taken some of the heat out of the market, reflected in the latest survey results.

A net 44% of survey respondents now expect house prices will increase over the next 12 months, down from the net 52% who expected price gains last quarter, and well down from the record high of 69% in the three months to July.

The fall in net house price expectations is most pronounced in Auckland, where net price gain expectations fell to 30% from 50% last quarter.
ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley says that the decline in net price expectations in the rest of the country was a little more surprising. 

“Recent trends have indicated that the Reserve Bank’s new lending measures have bought an accelerated house price growth outside of Auckland, something we had expected to see,” Tuffley says. 

“Yet this survey doesn’t show any strengthening of price expectations beyond Auckland.” 

The survey also asked its respondents whether it was a good or bad time to buy a house and found that sentiment, although still low, has improved slightly.

A net 5% of respondents said now is a bad time to buy a house. Auckland (at 22%) and Canterbury (4%) continue to be the two most pessimistic regions.

“Sentiment has become a little less pessimistic in the latest survey,” Tuffley says.

“This quarter, a net 22% of Auckland respondents regard now as a bad time to buy a house, down slightly from 25% last quarter. High house prices and the tight housing market will continue to weigh on sentiment, as may the additional tax and lending rules.”

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