Property economist slams Sir John Key's housing market prediction

  • 01/03/2024

A housing expert is slamming Sir John Key's prediction property prices could double in the next decade.

The former Prime Minister made the claim on AM earlier this week, attributing it to migration, rising costs and higher salaries.

But, speaking earlier on Friday, CoreLogic chief property economist Kelvin Davidson said he didn't agree with Sir John.

He believed the former Prime Minister's views were "pretty strong" for a market that was only becoming weaker due to high mortgage rates.

"I've got to say, I don't subscribe to that view," Davidson said of Sir John's prediction. "I think that's pretty strong.

"We're still looking at a market where affordability is very, very stretched.

"Yes, mortgage rates will come down over time but they're still quite high."

In the past year, house prices have fallen 1.4 percent, according to CoreLogic's house price index.

From their 2021 peak, prices had fallen 10.8 percent, the index showed.

But Davidson told AM lending restrictions would likely remain in place due to high-interest rates.

He said he found Sir John's views "a little bit hard to believe".

Kelvin Davidson.
Kelvin Davidson. Photo credit: AM/Getty Images

"I mean, who knows? I could be wrong but I think that's probably a bit too strong and expect something a bit softer than that."

Davidson said a major driver of house price doubling, in the past, was a long-term downward trend of interest rates.

"We're not really looking at much of a fall in mortgage rates over the next year or so - I think we're looking at a higher for longer scenario - but get into the second half of next year, even the first half of next year to some extent, we could be seeing mortgage rates fall again. So, I think that's the point where house prices could accelerate a little bit.

"Not saying that acceleration will be strong but just a little bit faster - a lot depends on those mortgage rates."