The Sunday papers today are talking up the housing market.
But suggesting it is more than just an attempt to butter up one of their major sources of advertising, the Patron St of Taxpayers, Bernard Hickey, has joined in the spruiking.
Bernard has tended to predict savage cuts in house prices, but now he says it is time to buy. His view is based as much on the costs of rent v the costs of a mortgage and other costs associated with owning a home.
Nonetheless, the state of the economy and rising unemployment may still cause further price declines, he admits.
However, over at the Sunday Star-Times, because the New Zealand housing market was less speculative than in other countries, there is less potential for a downside.
The SST also notes lower interest rates v the rental costs, plus impact from immigration affecting future prices. Supply is also being hit by a slump in new housing starts.
However, citing rising unemployment, some economists still say hold off.
But with growing talk and practice of mortgage holidays, this just might give more confidence to a depressed market, with homeowners knowing they still have upto a year to find work if the worst happens. Even if such holidays come with a cost of rolled up interest.
In Kerikeri, though, I still see falling prices. But this is perhaps an area that boomed more than most in recent years. Perhaps there will be significant regional variations to this story.
What do you think? Is now the time to buy? And where?