Property prices under pressure

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Property prices are still under pressure as households keep debt repayments as a top priority for the year ahead, according to the ANZ New Zealand property gauges.

By Paul McBeth

Two of 10 gauges predict prices will fall, one is neutral with a negative bias, four are neutral, two are neutral with a positive bias and one is positive.

"Supply-demand dynamics are positive, but de-leveraging remains the number one priority," the bank's economists said.

Liquidity and serviceability/indebtedness were the two negative gauges, as borrowers keep paying down their existing debt, while demand for credit is still subdued.

Interest rates were neutral with a negative bias, with the Reserve Bank set to hike the Official Cash Rate in coming months, which will lift floating rates.

Supply-demand balance and consents and house sales were neutral with a positive bias, as home sales remain low and new building consents lag behind demand.

Migration remained positive for prices, though departures to Australia is beginning to pick up and net migration is easing.

Globalisation, mortgagee sales and median rent were neutral.

On balance, the bank's economists said direction for house prices was neutral with a negative bias.

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