Investor activity subdued in August

August data from the Reserve Bank reveals property investors took a smaller share of overall lending, as first-time buyers also slowed slightly.

Wednesday, September 26th 2018, 6:07PM

Investors borrowed $1.25 billion last month out of the $5.4 billion lent to Kiwi home buyers, a fall of about 1% of the overall lending figure. They borrowed $1.32 billion out of $5.5 billion in July.

First home buyers, who have enjoyed a resurgence this year, saw a slight dip in borrowing last month, making up $833 million of the $5.4 billion total. This marked a decline from $910 million last month.

The usual Spring surge is expected to lift property sales during the final few months of the year, yet investor confidence remains subdued, owing mainly to LVR restrictions. LVR restrictions require investors to have a deposit of at least 35%.

The threat of further regulation to curb investor buying, such as a mooted capital gains tax, have further dampened investor confidence. The Tax Working Group released an interim report last week stating a capital gains tax looks likely, but that wealth and land taxes were not on its agenda.

It comes despite recent data indicating flattening house prices in Auckland. REINZ data from August revealed prices in the city fell by 0.1% in the year to July. Overall, New Zealand house prices rose by 6.2 percent in the 12 months to July, according to the data.


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