12 Nov 2018

Quarterly report: Soft landing for housing market

12:39 pm on 12 November 2018

More people think it is a good time to buy a house as house prices continue to cool along with low interest rates.

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Cooling house prices and low interest rates are exciting prospective buyers according to ASB. Photo: REINZ

ASB's latest quarterly property confidence index indicates the proportion of people expecting values to increase over the next quarter fell to a net 26 percent in the three months to October - the lowest level since January.

ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said the latest survey came within a whisker of the majority thinking it was a good time to buy.

He said the change followed a combination of slowing house-price growth across much of the country, with flat or lower prices in Auckland, more homes to choose from and a favourable interest rate outlook.

Fewer people expected higher interest rates in the year ahead, with the Reserve Bank's official cash rate unlikely to change before 2020.

Mr Tuffley said the housing market was experiencing a soft landing.

"We see the (housing) market being pretty flat and stable over the next little while, which is essentially a very very soft landing after some strong price gains in many parts of the country," he said.

"When the housing market has a hard landing it's generally not much for fun for everybody and puts a lot of stress on economy as well."