Fear of missing out is persisting for property buyers, the latest real estate survey showing it's at the highest level in four months.
But fear of overpaying is lower than the peak period of April and May.
In an early August survey carried out by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) and independent economist Tony Alexander, 66 percent of real estate agents report seeing fear of missing out (FOMO) among buyers. It's up from 49 percent in late April/May and up from 60 percent in July.
Fear of overpaying (FOOP) peaked in April, Alexander told Newshub, with 37 percent of agents saying buyers were concerned house prices might fall - it's now declining. In the August survey, 19 percent of agents reported this as a concern.
"FOMO has gone up, FOOP has gone down," Alexander said.
Is FOMO in play for buyers?
Compared to February, more real estate agents feel house prices are rising, at a net 61 percent in August.
But more real estate agents reported fewer buyers attending auctions and open homes than those reporting more, a trend that has persisted for five months.
In August, a net 11 of agents reported fewer buyers at auctions - the same as the week following the Government housing announcement on March 23.
Are more or fewer people showing up at auctions?
A net 7 percent of agents reported fewer buyers at open homes, the most improved result since March.
Over the last two months, the report showed fewer investors pulling back from the market. A net 42 percent of agents reported seeing fewer investors in August, an improvement on May and June.
A shortage of property listings was property buyers' main concern. Concerns' about interest rate rises increased from July to August, but this was low in comparison to concerns about high prices.
A net 45 percent of agents reported fewer inquiries from overseas in August. Alexander said that's contrary to assumptions that Kiwis were returning to New Zealand and snapping up properties.
"That's straight-lined down since the start of the year...agents are saying off-shore inquiry has dropped quite significantly," Alexander added.
While first-home buyers and investors were continuing to step back from the market, the biggest withdrawal period was over April to June, the report said.
The REINZ and Tony Alexander real estate survey is based on collated responses from real estate agents across the country and is an early indication of market activity.
The full report can be found here.