Investor sentiment has hit a three-year low with just a net 8 percent feeling confident in the three months ended in September, an ASB Bank survey shows.
In the previous quarter, investor confidence was reported to be at 15 percent.
Most respondents viewed term deposits, managed investments, or superannuation as likely to offer the worst investment return in the coming year, while KiwiSaver and owning a home were viewed positively.
ASB Senior Economist Chris Tennent-Brown said the housing concerns raised in the latest survey had been present for a while, and there were some signs for a potential improvement in the coming months.
"It's really interesting that confidence continued to wane in Auckland, at a time when we think the clouds are starting to clear a bit."
He said positives included low interest rates and the removal of the threat of a capital gains tax.
"We are expecting a reasonable sales period over the coming month or so, before we head into the quiet holiday period."
Confidence on investment returns varied significantly by age group, with a third of people under 50 expecting the returns on investments to improve in the coming year, against 10 percent expecting poor returns.
That compared with 16 percent of the over 50s expecting better returns, but nearly a third expecting worse.
Mr Tennent-Brown said term deposits had been the main investment for a large number of people for years, even though the interest rates had been falling and were now below 3 percent.
"So it's not surprising, this is frustrating savers and denting confidence in the older age brackets of the survey," he said.