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Reserve Bank’s outlook helpful, says real estate boss

Reserve Bank’s outlook helpful, says real estate boss

“News that the Official Cash Rate could be held at 1.75% for some time is good news for home owners, as are the Reserve Bank’s latest comments about the housing market,” says Geoff Barnett, National Manager of Century 21 New Zealand.

“Without doubt our retail banks will be forced to increase mortgage rates somewhat in the coming 12 months. Nonetheless listening to the Reserve Bank, rates look set to remain low in a historic sense. This will give first home buyers more confidence to get into the market now, and for others to upgrade properties.”

Mr Barnett says prospective homeowners need to also take heed of the Reserve Bank’s observations that any current lull in house prices may only be temporary and that price hikes could return ‘given the on-going imbalance between supply and demand’.

“If I was a first home buyer I’d be seeing this winter as a real opportunity. We still have low interest rates while at the same time the market has normalised and is in fact a buyers’ market in some places. With one if not both of those factors likely to change in the medium-term, I’d be buying a house sooner rather than later,” he says.

Mr Barnett says with most retail banks still offering two-year fixed rates well below 5%, and rents in many areas continuing to rise, many people will be getting back onto the banks’ website mortgage calculators to assess their options.

“Yes, we’ve got a General Election in three months, but I think the country’s strong overall economic outlook and population growth, as the Reserve Bank has reinforced, well and truly trumps any individual events. The current conditions remain positive, making New Zealand housing a great investment still.”
Mr Barnett says Century 21 New Zealand remains on a growth path, with more franchises expected to open this year.

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