Would-be buyers in Canterbury have been found to be the most optimistic and confident in the housing market, according to ASB bank’s latest survey.
ASB’s new housing confidence survey revealed that Cantabrians are twice as likely as the rest of the country to strike the property market – which may have been prompted by low mortgage interest rates as well as the region’s flat house prices and rising wages.
Nick Tuffley, chief economist at ASB, said buyer interest was “starting to pick up” across the country, especially in Canterbury.
"In some ways it's because the Canterbury market has been relatively flat in the past few years. Because incomes have risen, that means prices are lower in comparison, so houses are more affordable. Then there's the effect of interest rates, which are the lowest since the 1960s," Tuffley told Stuff.co.nz.
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Almost a quarter of Cantabrians surveyed for ASB’s report believed that house prices in the region might rise due to extra confidence.
However, Natalie Edwards, a Christchurch property valuer and owner of Urban Edge Valuations, believed otherwise.
"I don't expect any price inflation for a long time – there's just not the pressure. The banks aren't relaxing their lending rules and it's still tough trying to borrow money, even though interest rates are low," Edwards told Stuff.co.nz.
She also pointed out that first-time buyers are dominating the market while investors remained cautious. New homes are also selling better compared to existing ones as they require smaller deposits.