Monthly Report for May 2024

11/06/2024 13:27:46 Comment(s) By Pracca




The central bank and the government introduced several policies in May that will have a significant impact on the housing market.

The first one is the government's announcement to cancel the first home grant provided by Kainga Ora. This policy change may have a significant impact on many first-time homebuyers. According to last year's company data, many first homebuyers relied on this subsidy to make up the 5% deposit payment. If the government cancels this policy, it means that many first homebuyers will need more time to save up for the deposit. Inflation is currently under control, but house prices are unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels. First homebuyers will need to work harder to save money to qualify for a loan to buy their first home. As a result, the sales cycle and demand in the real estate market will decline.

The second one is that the Reserve Bank has maintained the OCR at 5.5%, unchanged. From the company's data, most customers' loans will expire this year. The high interest rates will lead to higher repayments to the bank, significantly affecting the purchasing power of those households who have loans. People will reduce spending, which is exactly what the central bank hopes to see, as it will help control inflation to be below 3% more quickly. I also see some people predicting that loan interest rates may rise further. Currently, there are no economic stimuli in New Zealand that would make the entire economy more active, so I personally believe that the possibility of interest rates increase in this year is small.

The third one is that the Reserve Bank announced the official introduction of DTI (debt to income ratio) will be on 1st July. DTI restrictions require bank to lend maximum of 20% of owner-occupier lending to borrowers whose total debt is more than 6 times of their gross annual incomes, and no more than 20% of their investor loans to borrowers whose total debt is more than 7 times of their gross annual income. I used loan calculators from different banks and found that the DTI policy introduced doesn't bring much change to lending amounts at the moment. However, if loan interest rates decrease and banks lower their test rates, this policy will start to limit people's borrowing capacity. In other words, the Reserve Bank is getting prepared for cutting interest rates. It doesn’t want to see housing market becomes too active or housing price increases too much if people can borrow more money from banks to buy properties when interest rates decrease. At this point, DTI will limit people's borrowing capacity to control the rise in real estate prices.

The Reserve Bank is also proposing to ease LVR restrictions from 1st July: no more than 20% (currently it is 15%) of housing loans to owner-occupiers can go to borrowers with less than 20% deposit; and no more than 5% of housing loans to investors can go to borrowers with less than 30% of deposit (currently is 35% deposit).


Property market outlook


From the data perspective, the market saw a 0.1% increase in April. The South Island's real estate market performed the best in terms of liquidity. Housing sales increased by 0.8% in April, but it was still lower than expected.

The sales-to-listings ratio is a crucial indicator for measuring the real estate market, reflecting both supply (listings and inventory) and demand (sales) aspects. Economists analyzed the sales and listings data from the two major agencies in Auckland, Barfoot & Thompson, and suggested that house prices may further weaken in the coming months.

Looking at the auction clearance rates in Auckland, an increase in the number of passing in properties indicates a downward market risk.

In terms of the time taken for housing sales, the average time to sell a house in April increased by 3.8 days compared to historical data. In Auckland, the time to sell increased by 6.5 days.

From the above data, it seems that the real estate market is in a cooling-off period.


Looking ahead, the market's direction will largely depend on interest rates, which are a crucial factor. Currently, interest rates haven't dropped significantly because the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) still has concerns about inflation. With the unemployment rate on the rise and the real estate sector struggling under high interest rates, the entire New Zealand economy is experiencing a downturn. The RBNZ is likely to reduce lending rates in the future. The introduction of DTI indicates that the government and the central bank are preparing for interest rate cuts. It's inevitable that the RBNZ will reduce lending rates; the question is when. However, it's important to note that the RBNZ will gradually decrease lending rates.

Immigration-wise, this wave of immigration won't have as significant an impact on the market as it did in the 1990s. Currently, the government has restrictions on overseas buyers, and most of this wave of immigrants tends not to be high-skilled workers. It will take longer for these individuals to save for a deposit on property purchases, but rental prices are likely to increase.

Housing Supply: The total number of building permits has been steadily declining. Against the backdrop of population growth, this indicates a widening housing gap. Projections suggest a deficit of nearly 30,000 residential units. However, under the pressure of high interest rates, many first-time homebuyers cannot secure sufficient loans to purchase owner-occupied homes. Additionally, high interest rates are increasing economic pressures for many, leading to a decrease in willingness to buy homes.

Unemployment Rate: Currently, the unemployment rate is on the rise, with an expected rate of 5.5% by 2025. Elevated unemployment rates pose significant risks to the economy. I believe that under this pressure, the Reserve Bank will likely reduce interest rates to stimulate the economy and prevent unemployment from reaching excessively high levels.

Policy Changes: The shortening of the bright-line test period may lead to more properties being listed for sale from 1st July to Spring. An increase in available properties could result in price decreases. However, income generated from selling properties is not taxed, and interest can be offset against income, which may incentivize more people to purchase investment properties at suitable prices. Nevertheless, overall, there may be more sellers than buyers, so the market is not expected to rebound in the short term.

DTI's impact on the market will indeed affect loan amounts in the future. However, corresponding banks may lower their test rates, enabling people to borrow more funds. Additionally, banks may reduce the deposit requirements for investment properties. Overall, this could have a stimulating effect on the market.

Affordability: While housing affordability has been gradually easing, in an environment of high interest rates and inflation, people's purchasing power for buying houses remains challenging. Many potential investment property buyers are primarily concerned with the return on investment. I believe that as interest rates gradually decrease, and returns increase, more people will be inclined to purchase investment properties to augment their passive income.

The changes in the real estate market have always been influenced by multiple factors, but overall, it is expected that the real estate market will be in a downturn in 2024.


Economists have also summarized the affordability of housing in New Zealand.

Assessing housing affordability can be based on the ratio of household income to house prices. Currently, the ratio of house prices to income is above 6.5 times income but lower than the peak of 9 times. If income continues to rise steadily, then housing affordability remains moderate.

Another measurement method is to calculate how long it takes for the median income to save for a 20% deposit payment. If a household with median income wants to buy a median-priced property and saves 10% of their income annually, it would take approximately 13.5 years. If they save 20%, it will take less than 7 years.

Consider a recent graduate planning to buy a house. Initially, their income would be low, while house prices increase annually, coupled with First Home Grant cancellations. In such a scenario, purchasing a median-priced property might take longer.


After the pandemic, housing affordability has certainly worsened compared to pre-pandemic levels. The only way to alleviate housing burdens is to wait for the central bank to lower the OCR. This would significantly reduce everyone's repayment pressure.

Overall, housing affordability in New Zealand is currently very challenging. However, compared to a few years ago, there has been some relief, and people can still find properties within their budget in the market.

Interest Rates Outlook


This month, the four major banks lowered long-term loan interest rates. Currently, with economic downturn and increasing unemployment, the demand for rate cuts is intensifying.

Most customers choose to lock in rates for six months or one year to observe the market.

My suggestion is to make reasonable use of banks' offset accounts and revolving credit account to help ease the repayment pressure brought by high interest rates.


Source:ANZ property Focus May 2024,Reserve Bank website, New Zealand Herald news



第一个就是政府宣布取消首次购房者补助计划, 这个政策的变化,个人认为对很多首套购房者会有很大的影响。  从去年公司的数据来看,很多首套购房者需要这个补助才能凑够5%的首付,如果政府取消这个政策就代表很多首套购房者需要更长的时间去攒到首付的钱。通胀目前被控制了,但是房价不可能回到疫情前,首套购房者需要更加努力去存钱才能申请贷款去买到自己的首套房, 房地产的销售周期,热度,都会下降。

第二个是央行维持OCR 保持在5.5%不变, 从公司数据来看,大部分的客人贷款会在今年到期,那么高利息会让每个有贷款的家庭需要支付更多的利息给银行, 这会大大影响人们的消费能力, 人们会减少消费,当然这正是央行希望看到的,通胀会更快的被控制在3%以下。  我也看到有些预测贷款利息也许会进一步上涨。但是目前新西兰没有任何经济刺激点会让整个经济变得活跃,所以个人认为贷款利息在今年增长的几率不大。

第三个就是政府宣布在7月1号正式出台DTI (debt to income ratio)。DTI 会限制银行把自住房贷款的最多20%的份额给家庭总借贷额度超过家庭总收入的6倍的自住房贷款人,投资者贷款的最多20% 的份额给家庭总借贷额度超过家庭总收入的七倍的投资房的贷款人。  用了不同银行的贷款计算器算了一下,目前DTI出台的政策对贷款额度来说没有太多的变化。但是如果当贷款利息下降,银行降低test rate,  这个政策就会开始限制人们的贷款能力。  也就是说,央行会准备开始为降息最准备了, 当贷款利息下降,人们就会从银行贷出更多的钱去购买房产,这就会推动房产上涨,DTI 这个时候就会限制人们的贷款能力从而控制房地产的上涨。



从数据上来看, 市场四月份上涨了0.1%。 南岛房地产变现最佳。 房屋销售4月份上涨了0.8%, 但是还是低于预期。

销售与挂牌比率是衡量房地产市场重要的指标, 它反映了供给(挂牌和库存)和需求(销售)两方面。经济学家用了奥克兰两大中介Barfoot 和 Thompson的销售和挂牌数据做了分析, 房价可能会在未来几个月进一步减弱。


从房屋销售的时间来看,四月份出售一套房子需要的时间比历史增长了3.8天。 奥克兰的出售时间增长了6.5天。



利息是决定市场的重要因素, 目前利息没有大幅下降, 这是因为新西兰央行仍然对通胀感到担忧。 目前失业率在上升, 房地产在高利息的压力下处在低迷期, 整个新西兰经济处在衰退期, 央行一定会在未来降低贷款利息。  DTI的出现就是代表政府和央行为了降息开始做准备了。央行降息是必然的,只是何时开始降息。 但是有一点, 央行会慢慢降低贷款利息。


本月四大行调低了长期贷款利息, 目前经济下滑,失业增加,市场对降息的要求正在加剧。





资料来源:ANZ property Focus May 2024,Reserve Bank网页,New Zealand Herald news