22 May 2024

Growth in owner-occupiers on the residential property market

5:52 am on 22 May 2024
Christchurch based housing

Movers could see opportunities in the current market, says Corelogic. File photo. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

Owner-occupiers eyeing greener pastures are taking on the residential property market in increasing numbers, according to a new report from Corelogic.

The report shows the share of purchases made by movers or owner-occupiers edged up to 27 percent in April from 26 percent in Q1 2024.

Meanwhile, the proportion of first home buyers active in the market slipped to 25 percent in April, and mortgaged multiple property owners continue to sit at about 20-21 percent of activity, a low level compared to past standards.

Chief property economist Kelvin Davidson said movers could see opportunities in the current market.

"If you get a sale, you might get a certain price, and if you just shop around there is plenty of choice out there," Davidson said.

"You might find that you can actually put a pretty good offer on the next property and you may come out slightly better off.

"There is evidence that market downturns are good times to move around. You might be able to get a pretty good deal on the next property in a soft market."

Despite the pent-up demand, owner-occupiers looking to re-locate are unlikely to crowd out other groups of buyers.

"It's early days for any re-emergence of movers' demand, but looking ahead, they could be a group to watch as financial conditions start to ease with mortgage rates tipped to fall in 2025," he said.

Corelogic data also shows new listings in April were 9 percent higher than the same month last year creating more choice for buyers.

"It wouldn't be a surprise to see listings continue to flow in the coming months, especially if the shorter Brightline Test from the 1st of July prompts some investors to sell," he said.

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