Sentiment around whether it’s a good time to buy a house has hit the highest level since April 2016, according to the latest ASB Housing Confidence Survey.
“This is significant as pessimists have outweighed optimists in this survey for over five years,” ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said.
The report suggests the increased optimism is due to a combined slowing of house price growth across the country, more homes to choose from and a favourable interest rate outlook.
However, Tuffley expects respondents’ perceptions around whether it’s a good time to buy will remain contained by the fact that prices remain stretched relative to fundamentals in many centres.
Additionally, the survey shows fewer respondents expect higher bank mortgage interest rates in the year ahead.
“Further, with more question marks over when the RBNZ will eventually start lifting the OCR, given the downside risks to the growth outlook, it’s not surprising to see respondents expecting that interest rates are likely to stay low, or shift even lower again, over the coming 12 months,” Tuffley added.