It's a bad time to buy a house, say Kiwis

ASB Bank's quarterly report released this morning shows a sharp drop in housing confidence  across the country, with a net 20pc thinking it is a bad time to buy. 
 Photo / Michael Craig
ASB Bank's quarterly report released this morning shows a sharp drop in housing confidence across the country, with a net 20pc thinking it is a bad time to buy. Photo / Michael Craig

New research from ASB Bank has found a sharp drop in Kiwi opinions on whether it's a good time to buy a house. Most also expect house prices to keep climbing over the next year.

And it's not just Auckland - for the first time since 2014 people across every region think it's a bad time to buy a new house.

The bank's latest Housing Confidence report released this morning shows a sharp drop in confidence across the country, with a net 20 per cent thinking it is a bad time to buy.

This compares to the net 3 per cent last quarter who thought it was a bad time to buy, and it's the weakest housing sentiment result since early 2012.

Nationally, 13 per cent of respondents say it is a good time to buy a house, and 33 per cent say it is a bad time. This compares to 17 per cent and 20 per cent last quarter.

Sentiment is particularly low in Auckland, where a net 32 per cent think it is a bad time to buy.

"As affordability in Auckland is squeezed more so than elsewhere, we expect to see sentiment continue to drag relative to the rest of the country," said ASB Bank chief economist Nick Tuffley.

Tuffley said he wasn't surprised at the sharp fall, as higher house prices as well as higher interest rates are expecte4d.

"People appear to be wary of higher debt servicing costs on top of already-high house prices," he said.

New investor loan-to-value restrictions, kicking-in from October, could mean a further sentiment drop further this year.

"The requirement for investors around the country to have a 40 per cent deposit will undoubtedly knock investors' confidence," said Tuffley.

He did, however, point to two things that could temper that fall: if the new LVR restrictions slow market activity and house price growth, potential first-home buyers might look more favourably on the housing market. And a further OCR cut this year could have a similar effect, provided mortgage rates move slightly lower.

Read more from the research here:

- NZ Herald

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