The housing investors may be showing signs of stirring.
Latest lending by borrower type figures from the Reserve Bank show that the investors had their biggest share of the mortgage money last month for exactly a year.
In September the investors borrowed $1.074 billion, which made up 19.5% of the total $5.516 billion advanced by the banks in the month.
Now a 19.5% share of the mortgage market is not so much - particularly not when put against the 35% share the investors were taking back in 2016 - but it does represent a discernible uptick.
In May of this year the investors borrowed just 17.6% of the total amount advanced. Since then the figures have been moving up - and more noticeably in recent months. In July investors borrowed 18.7% of the total, then 19% in August and now 19.5%.
This apparent (small at this stage) rekindling of investor attention comes at a time when the RBNZ is dropping official interest rates to new lows and banks are responding by dropping both their lending and deposit rates.
Such interest rate moves offer a two-way incentive to potential investors. The lower mortgage rates are a 'pull' factor making the buying of houses more possible. The falling deposit rates are a 'push' factor making having money sitting in the bank look far less attractive than perhaps the yields on an investment property.
The apparent revival of the investors may well also have been encouraged by the loosening of the RBNZ's loan to value ratio (LVR) restrictions that were applied in January.
It was the clamping of tough 40% deposit rules on investors by the RBNZ in 2016 that led to investor interest in the market falling away. (The deposit requirement for investors currently stands at 30%).
The original imposition of the LVR rules in 2013 acted as a disadvantage to first home buyers.
Since the clampdown on investors in 2016 there has been a noticeable resurgence of FHB buying.
And in September the FHB grouping was again active in the market, taking about 17.5% of the mortgage monies advanced, with a total of $967 million.
In recent months the FHBs have consistently averaged about that kind of level and they've accounted for over $900 million of borrowing every month since February.
If we look at the overall mortgage figures in September, the $5.516 billion borrowed was the highest for a September since 2016.
All of which suggests that the combination of the more relaxed LVR rules earlier in the year coupled with the declining interest rates is causing an uptick in activity.
There's much interest in whether the RBNZ will again foreshadow a further loosening of the LVR rules when it releases its next Financial Stability Report on November 27.
It is seen as likely that the RBNZ will do some further loosening of the rules.
Before it gets to that announcement though, the RBNZ has to make another decision on interest rates on November 13.
At the moment the Official Cash Rate is at an all-time low of 1%. But its seen as likely that the RBNZ will drop this further in November, to 0.75%.
If it then followed up with further relaxation of the LVR rules - particularly if the investor rules are loosend - this would send very positive signals to the housing market.
As ANZ's economists said this week a lift in housing activity and prices would be likely to spur a little more consumption and residential investment spending, and possibly keep household sentiment buoyed. "And based on the forward-looking growth indicators we’re monitoring, it looks like the economy could use a bit of a kick."