Investor confidence has dropped again in the wake of concerns over Europe, a survey by the ASB has found.
The investor confidence index dropped from 12 per cent to 8 per cent in the three months ending June 30.
Confidence had appeared to be on the rise from a 3 per cent low recorded in the second quarter of 2011.
But ASB head of wealth advisory Jonathan Beale said fears of an escalation of the Greek crisis and worry over the potential for disruption in Europe had spooked investors.
"Over the quarter Greece held two separate elections and narrowly avoided expulsion from the euro," Beale said.
"Although the situation in Greece appears to have stabilised following the June 17 election, concern about debt levels in Spain continues to rise," he said.
"Investors appear to have taken this news to heart, with more believing returns will worsen over the next 12 months."
Beale said the concern was reflected in investors taking a more conservative approach, with term deposits returning to the top position with 20 per cent of those surveyed believing they would give the best return.
"The uncertainty in Europe appears to have reignited a flock to caution among investors, with more looking to the traditionally lower-risk option of term deposits as their investment of choice."
Term deposits were up 4 points on the previous quarter, overtaking rental property which fell from 19 per cent to 17 per cent.
But rental property remained the most attractive investment option for Aucklanders, 24 per cent believing it had the best return, up from 22 per cent in the first three months of the year.
Term deposits were the second most popular option for Aucklanders, up 3 points to 21 per cent.
"We appear to be climbing back to the dizzy days of Auckland's property love affair, with more investors in the city looking to the housing market for the best returns," Beale said.
Publicly listed shares remain the least popular form of investment, falling from 10 per cent to 7 per cent in the second quarter across the country.
In Auckland, managed invest-ments/superannuation schemes and bank savings accounts were the least popular investments.By Tamsyn Parker Email Tamsyn