4 Dec 2013

Pace of house price rises expected to ease

7:15 am on 4 December 2013

ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley is warning the pace of house price rises will not continue at the current rate for much longer.

New listings of houses available for sale dipped in November, particularly in Auckland.

Realestate.co.nz, which lists more than 95% of houses for sale in New Zealand, said new listings nationally fell 5% in November compared with October, when there was a surge of 27%.

Auckland listings for last month dropped more than 7% after jumping by 28% in October.

Mr Tuffley said although the October jump in listings was largely reversed in November, there is still an upward trend in the supply of new listings.

"We think we are getting close to the point where house price growth itself will peak around the end of this year and the early parts of next year," he said.

"But we still do think prices will continue to go up, just not quite at the same sort of pace."

There were early signs more houses were being offered for sale, and there was generally a lift in construction, Mr Tuffley said. Interest rates were expected to gradually rise, and that would also have an effect.

"But there are still quite a bit of supply constraints around the Auckland and Canterbury regions, and that's likely to keep prices continuing on their upward trend in those areas."

In the rest of the country, the supply pressures are nowhere near as acute and therefore price growth was a lot more modest.

Wellington experienced "muted" growth, while there was modest growth in other areas.