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After a few uncertain years, there are real signs that home values have plateaued and are looking to bounce back.
Independent Economist Tony Alexander has been expressing the view that nationwide prices on average will gain around 5% this year. A range of economic levers are beginning to change the market from a buyers’ market to a sellers’ market.
In this One Roof article1, Alexander ends with this prediction:
“For young buyers the wide window of opportunity to make a purchase with little competition and vendors willing to accept offers with many conditions is closing rapidly.”
Of course, that’s just one expert’s opinion, but there are plenty of other respected economists who think the time is now. But enough of predictions, let’s look at the market forces that are impacting the property market.
Traditionally, spring marks the beginning of the busy season in the real estate market. We offer a diverse selection of homes in Auckland and Canterbury, catering to the varied needs of potential buyers. Reach out to our team today to discuss making your move into one of our brand new homes and read on to learn more.
Have interest rates peaked?
If you’ve family or friends with a home loan, you’ve undoubtedly heard their pain. Coming off record low rates in the Covid years, mortgage interest rates are now over 7% with Westpac recently raising its standard rate to 7.85%.
Market commentators like Infometrics Chief Executive Brad Olsen2, believe the current rates are about as high as they are going to go as the Reserve Bank left the official cash rate at 5.5% in their review.
Tony Alexander even believes there’s a reasonable chance the Reserve Bank may start cutting rates early in the New Year – depending on inflation figures.
While high interest rates have certainly put off many new home buyers, the signs rates may have peaked, or will soon, will certainly give confidence to buyers when planning their finances ahead. And the more confidence, the more people start looking at property.
First-home buyers out in force.
According to real estate agents, the level of interest from first-home buyers is now the strongest since October 2021. But interest from investors is also on the rise – especially as a potential change in government may see tax rules around expense deductibility changed in the coming years. John Bolton, founder of Squirrel3, believes the potential for a change in government could light a fire under the housing market as investors and FOMO kick back in.
A recent market snapshot4 from REINZ shows an increase in properties sold year on year with a 9.2% rise. Auckland showed an 18.2% rise in sales and a 2.0% month-on-month increase in house prices. Nationally, properties are also selling faster with time to sell decreasing by 5 days for August 2023. And Canterbury saw its highest number of house sales in August since August 2020.
Record immigration numbers.
Immigration is one of the biggest drivers of our population as well as demand for housing. Provisional immigration figures show a record net gain of 96,200 in the July year according to Statistics NZ. All these newcomers are going to need somewhere to live and while many will rent, a good number will be looking to buy homes. If history has taught us anything, that will put increased pressure on home buyers.
Sam Stubbs, Managing Director of the Simplicity KiwiSaver fund, which is in the process of attempting to build 10,000 build-to-rent homes, predicts prices will rise again5.
“It’s economics 101, it’s just supply demand, so if this Government has turned on the immigration taps, which it has, we’ve got a net 65,000 more people than we did last year, and there’s nothing that National are saying which indicates they’ll have any but pretty strong immigration.”
Our growing cities.
More immigration puts more strain on our urban centres, as that’s where most tend to head. Auckland University professor of economics, Robert MacCulloch5 said National’s decision to walk away from the bipartisan Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS) rules would be another driver of price rises. National would force councils in major towns and cities to zone 30 years’ worth of growth immediately and that could see our cities heading out, instead of heading up.
Out of recession. Just.
Those record immigration statistics don’t just drive population; they also drive the economy. The figures released on the 21 Sept 20236, show that the economy was stronger than predicted, driven by strong net migration and higher exports. While the growth is just 0.9 percent, economists say it shows our economy is more resilient than expected. While we’re by no means back into the “Rock Star” economy status, avoiding a recession – albeit technically, can boost market confidence.
When combined, these elements not only begin to influence buyer behaviour, but they also change the trajectory of the property market, and all the signs are it’s heading back up.
1 - https://www.oneroof.co.nz/news/latest-news/tony-alexander-investors-are-back-and-house-prices-are-on-the-rise-44284
2 - https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/300934630/westpac-lifts-home-loan-rates-they-need-to-justify-increases-from-here
4 - https://www.reinz.co.nz/Web/Web/News/News-Articles/Market-updates/REINZ_August_data_A_glimpse_of_Spring_in_August_numbers.aspx?name=REINZ_August_data_A_glimpse_of_Spring_in_August_numbers
5 - https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/132681298/house-prices-to-rise-postelection-more-so-if-national-win-experts-say
6 - https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/did-we-really-dodge-recession-or-has-the-economy-just-had-a-dead-cat-bounce/V5ZWCWH5DVHQRF4HNWO4YW4TJE/#:~:text=The%20economy%20grew%200.9%20per,the%20year%20ended%20June%202023