Most Kiwis remain optimistic about the housing market – survey

by Mark Rosanes20 Aug 2020

The majority of New Zealanders have expressed optimism about the housing market, a recent survey from Trade Me Property revealed.

According to the survey, about two-thirds of respondents expect property prices to increase or stay the same in the last quarter of 2020.

Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said that more than 1,700 New Zealanders who were actively looking on the firm’s website took part in the survey, which sought to find out what Kiwis think will happen to the country’s property market in the months leading up to the election on 17 October.

Read more: Property market out of “danger zone” if COVID-19 stays controlled – economist

“While some people have been predicting house prices will fall as a result of COVID-19, most Kiwis actually think house prices will fare pretty well for the remainder of the year,” he said.

Clancy added that while the survey was conducted before the alert levels were put back due to recent coronavirus cases, it still gives a clear indication of Kiwis’ confidence in the property market.

“New Zealanders are pretty optimistic about the property market and if we can get on top of this latest cluster and move down the alert levels, we reckon that optimism will stay,” he said.

Overall, 35% of those surveyed expected property prices will remain stable, while 27% anticipated prices to rise as 2020 wraps up.

Clancy said the positive outlook has likely stemmed from two things – “property prices holding steady to date and unemployment figures which, currently, aren’t as scary as initially predicted.”

Trade Me’s numbers also saw a continued rise in property prices over the past few months. June saw the largest annual percentage increase in property prices in 2020, with the national average asking price increasing by 7.8% from last year to $699,350.

However, about a third of the respondents expected to see house prices fall later this year when wage subsidies end.

The survey results also show that the upcoming election was not a huge concern for the majority prospective property buyers and sellers, with more than four-fifths of participants admitting the timing and result of the election will have no impact on their intention to buy or sell.

“Interestingly, our data shows that activity in the property market during an election year does not differ all that much from other years,” Clancy said. “That said, obviously this year, we have some added challenges with COVID-19 playing on people's minds.”

More than half or 52% of those surveyed said other events or economic factors would influence their property plans.

“The ongoing impacts of COVID-19, including job security, changes to interest rates, and the possibility of a recession were the main concerns for buyers and sellers, which may impact their property decisions,” Clancy said.

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