The gulf between the Auckland housing market and the rest of the country appears to be widening according to the latest ASB Housing Confidence Survey.
A net 40% of respondents’ expect house prices to rise in Auckland against just 27% for the whole of New Zealand.
Only Christchurch topped Auckland, with a net 56% of respondents’ expecting prices to rise. However, expectations of rising interest rates were also higher in Christchurch at 53% against 41% in Auckland.
Overall, housing confidence continued to ebb over the three months to January.
“Price expectations remain elevated in Auckland but quite weak through the rest of the North Island,” the report said.
Citing REINZ figures, the report noted that the low level of new listings has kept the inventory of housing at muted levels, which has started to feed into higher prices, especially in Auckland where prices rose 7.6% in 2011 against 3.1% nationwide.
The report said the tighter Auckland market was also reflected in the relatively shorter days to sell and the low number of houses on the market.
Respondents’ confidence in the market as measured by how many believe now is a good time to buy also eased for the third consecutive quarter.
A net 34% said now was a good time to buy against 37% in the previous quarter, while 14% say now is a bad time against 13% previously.
Nationwide, ASB said it expects to see the nationwide low level of inventory lead to price rises of a modest 3% over 2012, with stronger price growth in Auckland.