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Home buyers' optimism hits six-year high in NZ after drop in interest rates, figures show

Optimism among home buyers is at the highest level since 2013, according to the latest ASB housing confidence survey, which shows all regions nationwide are feeling more positive about the market compared to three months ago.

Buying sentiment continued its trend of improvement of the past few years, with a net nine per cent of respondents now saying it is a good time to buy a house - up from a net four per cent last quarter. 

ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley told TVNZ1's Breakfast today the good news could be because of interest rates dropping rapidly, as well as capital gains tax being ruled out.

House buyers in Canterbury remained the most optimistic, with a net 18 per cent believing now is a good time to buy. The number is up from the previous quarter's eight per cent. Auckland respondents were the next most positive, with net 13 per cent saying it was a good time to buy.

Mr Tuffley said from a buyers point of view a quiet market means it is much easier to find a house you want, thanks to less competition and more affordability.

"Over the next year, we do see prices bouncing up by about six per cent on average. It'll be stronger in places outside of Auckland and Canterbury, and then prices will probably moderate a little bit.

"So we've got a few things going on in the background - yes, interest rates are giving things a kick, but also a lot of construction going on in places there's been a bit of a shortage. That shortage will get made up as we build more."

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Nick Tuffley talked about the bank’s latest Housing Confidence Survey results. Source: Breakfast