9 Dec 2019

Housing market heating up before holiday period

10:52 am on 9 December 2019

The housing market is heating up ahead of the holidays, with positive signs of growth, according to ASB's latest quarterly housing confidence survey.

Open home sign at a house for sale in East Auckland

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The results suggested house price inflation was picking up and the upturn was expected to last until the middle of next year.

House price expectations rose for the second quarter in a row, with confidence back to average levels at 27 percent, although regional differences remained.

Meanwhile, a net 13 percent of respondents said it was a good time to buy a house - the highest level in seven years.

However, ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said there was still a way to go before the market could be thought of as "hot".

"The continued lift in house price expectations is consistent with our own reading of the New Zealand housing market tea leaves," he said.

"Housing turnover is finally showing some signs of life after a long period of stagnation."

National prices were expected to rise between 5 and 6 percent by the middle of next year, with interest rates to remain low.