Investor appetite has returned to the Auckland property market according to a new survey.

A monthly survey by property management company Crockers found that the percentage of investors looking to reduce the size of their holdings had declined sharply while the number seeking to increase their portfolios rose.

Some 26 per cent of respondents said they were looking to increase their property holdings compared to only 7 per cent who were looking to divest.

The numbers suggest a bounce back in confidence since the new government was formed in October.


Results for the survey in November showed less than 20 per cent of respondents were looking to increase their holdings and nearly 20 per cent were looking to divest.

The government has indicated it will extend the "bright-line test" for investors from two years to five years. That means investors wil be required to pay tax on capital gains for properties that they sell within five years of ownership.

It has also banned direct foreign investment in residential property and threatened to cut immigration numbers.

However, it appears the dent in investor confidence was short lived.

"I think now that the government has changed and there hasn't been any immediate big changes happen, people have probably settled into it a bit more," said Joe Schellack, general manager of Crockers Property Management.

"But that could change if there are more actual policy releases."

The lift in the Crockers Auckland Rental Property Index coincided with a rise in overall investor confidence about the Auckland rental market.

The Crockers survey found that 40 per cent of respondents now expect the rental property market to deliver "better" returns over the next 12 months. That's up from about 20 per cent feeling confident post election.


Just 5 per cent thought the market would get worse, down from 10 per cent post the election.

The Crockers research also found that - despite anecdotal evidence suggesting a rising number of untenanted Auckland properties - just 3 per cent of respondents reported leaving their properties untenanted.

Although the fact that respondents are largely clients of a property management company may have skewed that result.

The survey was run by Ipsos on behalf of Crockers. Respondents included property owners, residential and commercial landlords, property managers, real estate agents and tenants.