ASB survey shows investor confidence at five-year high despite COVID-19 lockdowns

But rental confidence has dipped despite other investment confidence being high.
But rental confidence has dipped despite other investment confidence being high. Photo credit: Getty Images

Investor confidence has hit a five-year high, with Aucklanders leading optimism despite the ongoing COVID lockdown.

The ASB Investor Confidence Survey shows net confidence lifting from a net 14 percent to 25 percent for the three months to October.

Confidence in Auckland reached a seven-year high, lifting from a net 18 percent to 31 percent, compared with 23 percent for the rest of New Zealand.

ASB Bank senior economist Chris Tennent-Brown said there has been an uptick in a number of areas.

"People are a little bit more upbeat about term deposits, for example, the returns there have been good or will have been lifting from about one percent to three percent. Confidence in KiwiSaver has ticked up a little bit.

"And that old favourite confidence in housing is still strong."

Tennent-Brown said the results were at odds with the general malaise of lockdown.

"It has been a very interesting quarter with the emergence of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in August and the subsequent lockdown of the country.

"We would have expected this to have more of an impact on confidence, but the results have shown the opposite."

Chris Tennent-Brown.
Chris Tennent-Brown. Photo credit: The AM Show

Meanwhile, rental property confidence dipped, particularly in Auckland, where confidence fell from 23 percent to 15 percent.

Tennent-Brown said it was partly due to rule changes and also because rental properties were the most hands-on to manage.

"The very high levels of confidence we're seeing are encouraging, particularly given the day-to-day frustrations about [the] lockdown. We expect that people are focusing on the longer term and, importantly, are more confident that lockdown is not going to have a big impact on their investments.

"In comparison to the net 25 percent recorded this quarter, investor confidence dropped to negative 25 percent in the second quarter of 2020 at the peak of the first level four lockdown."