The number of people who believe their own home is their best investment has jumped up in the last six months and is now the most popular choice, research by the ASB has found.

The bank's quarterly investor confidence research found investor confidence has bounced back after hitting a low at the start of the year and houses are where people think they can make the most money.

Of those surveyed 21 per cent believed their "own home" was the best investment up from 14 per cent at the end of last year.

The second-most popular choice was rental property which was backed by 18 per cent of those surveyed across the country and 20 per cent of those based in Auckland.


Jonathan Beale, general manager of wealth at the ASB, said the popularity of housing seemed to be driven by the current property price boom.

"Every day we talk about property prices going up."

But he said thinking of your own home as an investment was not a great idea.

"Yes, it's wise to pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible to be debt-free, but your house is first and foremost the roof over your head, not a financial tool to make you wealthy."

Net investor confidence hit a low of 3 per cent in the first quarter of this year but rose to 9 per cent in the second quarter ending June 30. That was down from peak of 29 per cent in June 2014.

Beale said China's stock market volatility had driven big dips in confidence in both the third quarter last year and at the start of this year but it appeared confidence had now turned a corner.

"The improvement in confidence over the last three months suggests investors have realised significant events in China were not the end of the world."

But the decline in overall confidence had encouraged slightly more people to believe term deposits and bank savings accounts were the best place to put their money.

Of those surveyed 13 per cent picked term deposits and 7 per cent believed bank savings accounts were the best places to invest despite interest on savings at new lows.

In contrast shares in publicly listed companies were the least popular option with just 6 per cent of those surveyed believing they were the place to get the best returns last quarter. That was despite the New Zealand sharemarket returning 23.3 per cent over the last year.

"It's astonishing really, when you consider the performance of the NZX over the last year, that people feel more positive about the returns from term deposits," Beale said.

The analysis was based on 782 online interviews with adults 18 years or older throughout New Zealand during the second quarter of this year.

Investment picks

• 21 per cent of people say their own home.
• 18 per cent pick rental property.
• 13 per cent term deposits.
• 7 per cent bank savings accounts.
• 6 per cent publicly listed companies.

See the recent surge in NZ property prices from the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) here: