Confidence soaring in capital - survey

Last updated 13:22 29/03/2014

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Wellington is not even flagging, let alone dying as Prime Minister John Key suggested last year, according to results of the latest property investor survey.

Investor confidence has turned around dramatically and hit a new high, said Colliers national research director Alan McMahon.

The survey, which asked people if they were feeling optimistic or pessimistic, found Wellington investors were net positive 10 per cent.

This is a big shift from the third quarter of last year where a similar survey recorded a minus 10 per cent. It was also the biggest change in confidence levels recorded in any part of the country.

"Clarity in the investment market due to a greater understanding of seismic strengthening requirements and a more positive outlook on market drivers are providing investors with more confidence."

McMahon said overall investor confidence nationally remained high.

Confidence in the first quarter of 2014 was a net positive 28 per cent, only slightly below the record high 31 per cent reached in the last quarter of 2013.

Auckland investors were the most optimistic at 58 per cent, just ahead of Queenstown investors at a net positive 56 per cent.

The mood in Auckland was propelled by forecasts of higher economic activity and Queenstown was benefiting from population and tourism growth.

Optimism in Christchurch declined to a net positive 43 per cent, the lowest result since 2012.

"This is a reflection of a more stabilised investment outlook after a sustained period of record activity," said McMahon.

Outside of the main centres, investor confidence continues to fluctuate. Higher confidence was shown in regions with positive underlying fundamentals, such as population growth and better employment opportunities.

Tauranga/Mt Maunganui scored a positive 41 per cent, Hamilton 30 per cent, Nelson 9 per cent and Dunedin 3 per cent.

The centre with the most pessimistic outlook was Palmerston North with a negative 11 per cent confidence level, a slight gain on previous surveys.

Napier/Hastings were at minus 3 per cent.

The survey drew 3707 responses.

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- The Dominion Post

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