Summary.   Of all the country’s main centres, Christchurch’s housing market would be the least vulnerable in a downturn, according to a new Corelogic Property Vulnerability Index.

Which parts of the country are most at risk in a property downturn?

Friday 29 October ‘21

Outside of the cities, smaller provincial centres would be most vulnerable overall, but Queenstown Lakes also stands out, as it has a high market profile compared to its population size. Auckland is the highest risk of the main centres.

Places less vulnerable in a property market downturn include Whangarei, Tauranga, Whakatane, Hastings, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Timaru, while Dunedin, Invercargill, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Napier and Lower Hutt sit somewhere in the middle.

The index looks at measures such as property demand, affordability, credit behaviour, employment and investment activity, as well as supply and demand. It doesn’t forecast values.

The housing market continues to climb, however, with the Government and Reserve Bank introducing curbing measures there will likely be some slowing down to come.

Tall Poppy co-owner Michael Seymour says the fact that we are discussing areas vulnerable to a downturn is an indicator that downward drivers are now, or about to be, playing a role in the market.

“That said, the upward drivers still exist and that’s why I’d predict, with the information we have, that a flattening will occur for most areas,” he says.

“The interest rates will be the scariest thing I’d say, and if they don’t surge the changes will be softer. Almost all the measures of affordability are at record highs - something’s got to give at some point”.

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