Market on tenterhooks: ANZ

Low levels of property market activity and rising interest rates are combining to create less intense house price inflation, ANZ’s economists say.

Wednesday, July 23rd 2014, 12:00AM

by The Landlord

“The number of house sales continues to track lower, with declines in six of the past eight months, to be 17% lower since October,” they write in the bank’s latest Property Focus report.

They said while price inflation still looked robust, there had been a small decline over the past quarter.

But they say rising immigration, the improving labour market and the still-low levels of housing available for sale are providing support for the market.

Rising mortgage rates had made housing more unaffordable, although banks’ two-year specials had dampened the impact of hikes to the Official Cash Rate, the economists said.

Of the ten gauges the economists use to assess the market and look for signs of future price movements, only migration is pointing purely up.

Affordability is flat or declining as softer house prices help to improve affordability, and mortgage rates decrease it.

The supply/demand balance is flat or pushing prices up, as the gap between the two continues to increase.

House sales were flat or pointing to a decline in prices as the number of sales dropped and the average days to sell increased.

Housing supply is tepid, the report said, and flat or pushing prices up. “On a quarterly basis, listings have inched up to a two-year high.”

Median rents were also flat or pointing up for prices. “Median rents were unchanged over the first six months of the year but the bias looks up,” the report said.

On balance, the report’s authors said the market was on tenterhooks. “Has the property market porridge cooled enough for RBNZilocks?”


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