Investor confidence slumps

Friday 19 January 2018

Confidence in the outlook for residential property prices has fallen dramatically, according to Colliers International’s first quarterly survey since the election.

The survey results show the percentage of respondents who think the median house price will increase in the next 12 months has fallen to a net positive 15%.

That's down by 16 percentage points from the 31% recorded three months ago.

Confidence around prices increasing was down in all 12 centres surveyed and by more than 20% in half of them.

Expectations of house price rises are strongest in Queenstown, Tauranga/Mt Maunganui and Wellington.

But in Auckland confidence fell to a net positive 6%, which was the lowest score since Colliers International begin its quarterly survey in 2016.

Colliers International national research director Alan McMahon says the main concern in comments made by respondents is uncertainty around the details and impact of the new government’s policies.

“We anticipate these concerns will continue to have an impact until there is greater clarity around the extent and scope of foreign ownership restrictions, as well as changes to rules around taxation treatment of rental income and rental housing quality standards.”

Differences in opinion about Auckland’s various housing types are much more marked than in previous surveys, McMahon says.

“There is an overall expectation that prices of existing apartments will fall.

“That’s in contrast to prices for new apartments, terraced and detached houses, where there is a clear expectation of price increases.”

In contrast, investors’ outlook on the commercial property sector appears to be far more positive.

Colliers International’s quarterly commercial property survey shows sentiment about the sector remains largely unchanged, although it has dipped slightly.

The percentage of respondents who are confident in the sector was down to 18% from 20% three months ago.

Looking at the retail, office and industrial asset classes in the main centres, confidence was up in Wellington in all three, but down in Christchurch and Auckland in all three.

As with the residential survey, the main concerns expressed by respondents related to uncertainties about new government policies.

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