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16-06-2009

Migration underpins lift in property, outlook still unclear, ANZ

Landlords.co.nz

ANZ National Bank’s eight gauges of the housing market found property was underpinned by strong net migration, but the outlook was still hazy with the correction “yet to fully pan out.”

Of the eight indicators, three were negative for house prices, one was neutral with a negative bias, one was neutral, two were neutral with a positive bias, and one was positive.

Migration was the major boost for the series as 9,176 more people come to New Zealand on an annual basis than left, more than twice the level a year earlier.

"If sustained, this level of net migration will provide a welcome boost to domestic demand and the housing market," the bank said. The increase "looks poised to provide some support" for the sector, it said.

Supply-demand balance and consents and house sales were both neutral with a positive bias as sales outstripped permits for new construction.

The bank said affordability was neutral for property prices as ongoing concerns about job security offset cuts to mortgage rates.

Interest rates were neutral with a negative bias to prices as falls in the cost of borrowing helped "kick start real estate activity", but rates were back on the rise as banks were forced to balance out high deposit rates on offer to attract offshore investment.

Serviceability and indebtedness, liquidity, and globalisation were the three indicators dragging prices down for the third consecutive month.

Debt serviceability had "a way to go yet" despite the improvement in affordability, according to the bank.

Global prices will take some time before reaching the "desired level", while the slowdown in liquidity was taking a long time to be played out in the data.

ANZ National concluded that there were still questions over whether there was enough impetus to pick up the market, and that the outlook was still unclear.

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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