Young people are making mortgage inquiries at a record rate to beat home-loan restrictions which begin on October 1, a credit bureau says.
Latest data from Veda showed house buyers aged 28 and under were inquiring about mortgages at rates not seen in the past seven years.
It was evidence that first-home buyers were shopping around for mortgages so they could buy before the low-equity home lending restrictions came into force, Veda managing director John Roberts said.
Inquiries from prospective "generation Y" home buyers increased by a 51.25 per cent in August compared with August last year, Mr Roberts said.
"We have never seen an increase in applications like this - the data is compelling evidence that first-home buyers are trying to buy before the Reserve Bank restrictions effectively limit the number who can buy with a 10 per cent deposit or less."
Mr Roberts believed the Reserve Bank's high loan-to-value ratio (LVR) lending would deliver a spike in borrowing and a spike in sales, which could mean price increases.
In what may be attempts to circumvent the LVR restrictions, personal loan inquiries increased by 23.58 per cent in August compared with August 2012, Mr Roberts said.
"It is well known that house buyers who don't have a large enough deposit to get a mortgage from a mainstream bank will borrow the deposit from a second-tier lender - like a finance company."
Mr Roberts said there were indications the Reserve Bank's high loan-to-value ratios may have limited impact on Auckland's housing bubble.
The Reserve Bank yesterday left the official cash rate unchanged at 2.5 per cent but changes to the wording of the bank's monetary policy statement, along with alterations to its forecast interest rate track, brought it more line with the market's view on where rates will go next year.
Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler said rapid house price inflation persisted in Auckland and Canterbury. "As has been noted for some time, the Reserve Bank does not want to see financial or price stability compromised by continued high house price inflation," he in a statement.
LVR restrictions were expected to help slow the national housing market, he said.
House prices level off as supply tightens
Auckland house prices are showing signs of levelling off, says Harcourts, New Zealand's biggest real estate agency. Nationally, prices cooled after the Reserve Bank's loan-to-value ratios were announced it said.
Supply tightened 10.2 per cent, from last August when 2609 properties were on hand in the northern region, down to 2343 properties last month.
"The average price in August across the northern region was $594,959. While this is 9 per cent up compared to the same time last year, it is the lowest average price achieved in the past six months. Prices have remained constant since March this year," Harcourts said.