Christchurch house buyers expecting big price rises   13 Feb 2012

House price inflation expectations were greatest in Christchurch at the end of last year, according to an ACNielsen poll for ASB’s monthly Housing Confidence Index.

While a net 27 percent nationwide expect higher house prices in the year ahead, that number was a net 56 percent in Christchurch, where expectations of rising interest rates are also highest, at a net 55 percent.

However, the survey was taken before last month’s monetary policy update from the Reserve Bank, which indicated the official cash rate would remain at its historic low of 2.5 percent at least for all of 2012.

The ASB index showed a slight easing in residential real estate confidence, although the general trend of recent months is intact, the bank’s economists say. Auckland leads the way, with subdued listings pushing up prices for those houses that are being offered.

“The Auckland housing market remains tighter relative to other regions in New Zealand,” they say.

A net 40 percent of Aucklanders in December thought house prices would rise in the year ahead, and a net 18 percent thought it was a good time to buy a house. In Christchurch, a net 2 percent thought now was a bad time to buy.

Price expectations are more subdued in the North Island outside Auckland, with only a net 15 percent expecting higher prices in 2012, while a net 24 percent of South Islanders outside of Christchurch think they’ll be on the rise this year.

(BusinessDesk)

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