Treasury is forecasting New Zealand house prices to rise by 20% over the next four years – an increase of $190,000 on the average QV house price for Auckland.
That would be a major shift for the Auckland housing market, which has been flat to slightly declining since mid-2016. However, some commentators believe that rise will come from the regions, not Auckland, as the regions catch up with the Super City’s boom of 2010 to 2016. Prices remain buoyant in Dunedin, Gisborne and other smaller centres, partly influenced with an estimated 30,000-plus Aucklanders leaving the city to find cheaper housing.
Winter is traditionally a flat time for the market, whether it’s sales or rentals, since people tend to settle in and wait for spring before they feel like moving house. Will we see the market pick up in Spring? The official cash rate is at an all-time low and the Reserve Bank is hinting at reducing it even further – there’s a possibility we’ll see a 1% OCR by the end of the year, which would be pretty staggering. There are also hints that the loan-to-value restrictions may be loosened. That would boost the market and stave off any chance of the type of price drop we saw in Australia’s big cities.
Overall, the outlook is positive for property investors in terms of capital gains. If your returns are reliable and you’re coming to grips with regulation changes, you should be sitting pretty over the next five to 10 years.