14 May 2013

House prices to rise further, survey suggests

7:55 am on 14 May 2013

A Bank of New Zealand survey of more than 500 real estate agents strongly suggests house prices will continue to rise and the shortage of houses to meet demand from buyers will worsen.

BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander says while buyers may be determined to buy a property, they may increasingly despair of finding one.

He says of 549 respondents only 23 thought prices were going down in their area.

Mr Alexander also says despite the strong market, it is a long way off being a bubble.

"We have a fundamental shortage of properties and that explains a large part of the reason for the price increases, because the price increases have predominantly been coming out of the shortage areas - Auckland and Canterbury.

"But also debt growth in the household sector, it's still just 4.3% on a year ago with no acceleration in the rate of growth as yet."

Mr Alexander says these are early days in the housing cycle upswing.