December saw a further pick-up in recorded house sales, however this comes from a very low base and mortgage lending remained flat, according to the latest ANZ Property Focus.
Home-owners can be confident floating mortgage rates won't be rising for some time following Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard's expected decision to keep interest rates on hold.
The Reserve Bank today left the Official Cash Rate (OCR) unchanged at 3.0 percent.
Despite stabilising, the housing market "remains very fragile and unlikely able to withstand rate increases for some time, particularly as house prices continue to decline," said ASB economist Nick Tuffley.
Rental vacancies remain low in Auckland while Wellington is suffering, and across the country vacancy rates are double the level of last year as house sales continue to dawdle, according to First National Group.
Housing in New Zealand is "severely unaffordable", with property in Auckland and Tauranga less affordable than New York, according to new research.
The Kiwi dream of owning a home is long out of sight for many people, and now the chances of even renting a quality house are fading fast.
Buying a house this year is “fundamentally a good idea” as inflation looks set to rise around the world, according to Tower Investments chief executive Sam Stubbs.
Auckland suburbs Remuera and Takapuna/Milford have seen rents for three bedroom properties increase by 25% over the past year, while rents for a one-bedroom property in Birkenhead have fallen 47% over the same period.
The September 4 earthquake that struck Canterbury left over 95% of properties with no significant damage, according to a QV assessment of the regions property market.
Weak demand for property prompted falls in residential house prices over 2010, and tax measures preventing property investors offsetting their losses against income and other taxes saw real estate demand fall considerably, according to JP Morgan economist Helen Kevans.
House sales volumes were down across all regions in December and the median price also fell in all but three main regions, according to the Real Estate Institute.
December saw both residential property values and sales slide from November, though both market activity and median prices remained up on figures from earlier in the year, according to the Real Estate Institute (REINZ).
Residential property values continued to decline across the country in December, with values 0.9% below the same time last year, according to the latest QV Residential Property Market update.