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Housing market improves, but from low base, says ANZ


Rents have reached a two-and-a-half year high and are set to increase further, according to the latest ANZ Property Focus.

The bank uses 10 gauges to assess the state of the housing market and to look for signs of emerging trends, and the median rent gauge suggests house price rises as rents "lifted to a two-and-a-half year high and will go further."

The report also noted a rebound in building approvals and a small lift in house sales, though "both measures remain at a very low level."

Of the 10 gauges, only two suggest upward movement for house prices.

Along with median rent interest rates also suggest upward momentum for house prices.

Of the remaining eight gauges, three suggest price falls, three are neutral and two suggest either no change or upward movement.

Migration, globalisation and mortgagee sales are all neutral.

Affordability - dented by a lift in the median house price - serviceability/indebtedness and liquidity all point to downward price movements.

Supply-demand balance and consents and house sales both suggest prices either remaining at the current level or increasing.

ANZ said that while nationwide sales have continued to rise, they remain around one third below historical averages.

The average days to sell also rose however, up from 44 to 45 days.

"On this metric the housing market remains weak, with the median days to sell considerably above the mid 30s range that was apparent at the end of last year and at the start of 2010," ANZ said.

"Things are better, but it's a low base still."

Source: Landlords.co.nz