Hive News Friday: Usual spring bounce missing in September mortgage applications

A Papatoetoe home, marketed to property investors. Copyright Lynn Grieveson / Hive News

It's still early days, but the new 40% deposit rule for landlords nationwide that formally kicked in from Saturday (but has been in effect since late July) does seem to be having a dampening effect on the housing market, particularly in Auckland.

The only hard data on new sales in September came from Barfoot and Thompson this week (see yesterday's Hive News for more detail), which showed slower sales and listings, but fresh figures published yesterday from QV on valuation applications by banks showed the usual spring bounce has been missing in Auckland, and the effect seems to be spreading to Hamilton and Tauranga.

QV's Nick Goodall said QV tracks bank applications for valuations that are done as part of any mortgage application and pending property sale. It does this weekly, which gives a 'real time' flavour to the numbers.

"In Auckland these remain flat compared to activity prior to the LVR announcement in late July. This is seasonally very weak as we would have expected activity from mid-Winter to pick up in September," Goodall said.

"Outside Auckland, activity hasn’t been quite as subdued with a small lift from winter, but nothing like the lift we saw last year and that we would typically expect in September. Looking into the main centres, activity has slowed in Hamilton where volumes are about 5% lower than witnessed in Winter," he said.

"In Tauranga, activity has been a bit more volatile, but after strong volumes through August and most of September we’ve seen a significant drop away in the last two weeks."

Goodall said activity around valuation applications remained solid elsewhere, with Wellington relatively busy. Christchurch remained flat, but Dunedin had seen a healthy spring lift with 6% of sales in the September quarter going to Auckland based investors, up from a recent average of around 3%.

In other economic and financial news...

ANZ reported its Truckometer measure of heavy and light traffic volumes, which can be a good leading indicator of the GDP and the economy more broadly, showed a fall in heavy traffic and a rise in light traffic in September that ANZ reckons shows the economy is growing steadily.