The New Zealand housing market showed signs of life in June, according to the latest Property Cycle Indicator.
The Mike Pero Mortgages/Infometrics indicator, running from minus 10 to positive 10, climbed to a positive 4.01 in June, from 0.31 in May, the first time it has been at that level since 2007.
The indicator is a sensitive measure of the housing market and includes three main factors: changes in the number of houses sold, change in price, and the time taken for a house to sell.
The average time for a house to sell reduced by 12 days year-on-year in June, the biggest change since 2003. The number of houses sold was up 40% from the same month last year, while the median house price was unchanged from a year earlier, at $340,000, the highest it's been in the past 15 months.
"Auckland in particular is leading the market, with a regional indicator of positive 4.87, the strongest in the country," Mike Pero Mortgages chief executive Sean Riley says.
"Canterbury is also showing strength, with a regional indicator of positive 3.6o, the best result in the South Island."
Last week, the ASB confidence survey also showed sentiment improving, with rental property reclaiming its top spot in the survey of investors, reflecting investors became less negative in the second quarter.
New Zealand investors' confidence improved to -11% from -25% in the latest three months, the first pick-up in the measure since the third quarter of 2008, according to a report from ASB.
Some 18% of those polled said rental property offers the best return, up from 15% three months earlier. Bank savings slipped to second place at 17%.