Migration keeps property market chugging along

Wednesday 15 July 2009

ANZ National Bank’s eight gauges of the housing market have reiterated the support the sector’s found with burgeoning net migration, but with a slowdown in winter typical, “it won’t be until spring that we will get a clearer picture.”

By Paul McBeth

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

Migration underpinned support for property prices, with net migration more than double the level a year ago.

"If sustained, this level of net migration will provide a welcome boost to domestic demand and the housing market, although the economic impetus will be less than if it had been driven solely by more arrivals," the bank said.

Supply-demand balance and consents continued to be neutral with a positive bias, with the latter reporting a modest improvement, but still lagging behind migration inflows.

Affordability continued to be neutral for house prices, although the bank said it was "back to a level close to its long-term average."

Interest rates were still neutral with a negative bias, with little change to mortgage rates.

Serviceability remained a negative for house prices, with households still in debt.

Liquidity eased and global prices were turning, but both were also negatives for property prices.

ANZ National concluded there were improvements in the market, but with the drag on prices, and winter months normally quiet, it will be spring before a recovery will become clear.

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