Fewer people believe it's a good time to buy a house, according to ASB's latest Housing Confidence Survey.
The survey was carried over the three months to the end of January, just before the economic impacts of coronavirus started becoming a major issue.
It found that just 22% of respondents believed it was good time to buy a house, compared to 27% who thought it was a good time to buy in the previous survey, taken over the three months to the end of October last year.
However just 13% thought it was bad time to buy, which was unchanged from the previous survey.
The biggest group by far (53%) were those who thought it was neither a god nor bad time to buy, up from 49% in the previous survey, while the rest didn't know.
"The trend improvement in buying sentiment of the past few years was brought to a halt in January," ASB said in its report on the survey results.
The change in buying sentiment is likely due to changes in people's expectations around movements in house prices and mortgage interest rates.
There were 54% more people who thought house prices would rise over the next 12 months than those who thought they would fall or stay the same, which was up from 27% in the previous survey.
At the same times the numbers who thought interest rates would rise or fall were evenly balanced, whereas in the previous survey the balance was strongly in favour of those who thought interest rates would fall over the following 12 months.
However, as ASB's report notes, "Respondents' interest rate expectations have been wrong-footed several times over the past year thanks to volatility in the global and local economies and some mixed signals from the RBNZ."
That volatility is likely to continue, with the economic environment now far more volatile and uncertain now than it was during the three month period when they survey was undertaken.
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