5 Nov 2013

New lending restrictions yet to touch Auckland market

5:15 pm on 5 November 2013

New mortgage lending restrictions have appeared to have little effect on Auckland's housing market.

The region's largest real estate firm, Barfoot and Thompson, says its sales jumped last month, while average prices hit an all time high.

New rules to limit low deposit loans and dampen Auckland's overheated housing market kicked in last month, but Barfoot and Thompson says it appears to have had little effect as yet.

Sales jumped 8.9% to more than 1200 in October, and the average sale price rose to an all-time high of $663,000.

Price growth has been modest in recent months, though Barfoot says that's due to more people listing houses for sale, rather than the Reserve Bank's new rules.

Mr Thompson says he does expect the new rules, which came into effect from 1 October, will have an impact but it could be some time before that becomes obvious.

Meanwhile, rival Harcourts says the average sales price rose 4% in Auckland and Northland last month.

A senior economist at ASB Jane Turner says a combination of a lack of houses and Auckland's swelling population should continue to underpin the housing market.

"Overall we are seeing demand saty quite strong and we do expect turnover to remain fairly steady, just less pressure on prices."