Confidence about the economy in a year's time has slipped slightly and the residential real estate and commercial property sectors remain ‘moribund', according to the latest BNZ Confidence Survey.
A net 18% of respondents expect the economy to improve compared with a net 29% in November. While down the bank said the figure remains at a "relatively firm level."
However, the positive sentiment is not matched by positive feelings about the present.
"Things remain as moribund as ever in retailing, residential real estate and commercial property, while tourism and construction remain patchy," the bank said.
From rental property investors' responding to the survey however, there was more optimism.
One Auckland property manager said, "Rents on the rise achieving 5% increases minimum. Listings have climbed up which is normal this time of the year with students finishing second semester. All looks good for next year and expecting good rental growth for our owners."
BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander said the more positive rental sector was no surprise and a reflection of the undersupply of houses. He said the rental market is where you first see the effects of the housing shortage and that the effect "will intensify" due to a lack of new home building.
However, outside of Auckland that optimism is not matched by respondents in the residential property sector, which Alexander described as "very mixed overall."
That mixed picture saw Auckland respondents reporting an upturn in the market in November.
"What a difference a month makes," said one eastern Auckland respondent.
"After the disastrous October, November was our best month since March for sales and listing activity."
Elsewhere respondents were less positive.
One respondent from Waikato has "been in the game for 20 years and never seen it so dead" while in Rodney "November has been our best month in recent times with a good number of sales and a big increase in properties coming on the market."