The property analysts CoreLogic NZ say the Auckland property market is the most vulnerable of all urban regions in New Zealand.
Otorahanga and the Mackenzie district are the most vulnerable rural areas.
This information could prove important to banks and mortgage brokers as well as homebuyers, as it gives a clue about future risks.
It has become available because of a decision by CoreLogic to look beyond nationwide statistics and analyse the vulnerability of individual regions.
The research starts from the standpoint of surging property inflation in the past year, 26.3% according to QV.
CoreLogic says this has pulled housing affordability down to the lowest level in New Zealand history.
The company's PropertyVulnerability Index looks deeper into this by analysing six categories of data: housing affordability, credit reporting, investor activity, demand-supply balance, local employment and Trade Me data.
These are combined to give an idea of overall risks from region to region.
CoreLogic's NZ Head of Research Nick Goodall said the index highlighted Otorohanga and MacKenzie as the two most vulnerable Territorial Authorities, while Waimakariri and Timaru appear to be least vulnerable.
Of the six main centres, Auckland is most vulnerable and Christchurch least vulnerable.
“There are a broad range of factors which will influence the future performance of the property market and these will vary in their relevance from region to region,” Goodall said.
“It’s important to note the areas expected to underperform may not necessarily see values fall; but in relative terms they face the greatest economic risks which makes them more vulnerable to a downturn.”
CoreLogic NZ’s Chief Property Economist Kelvin Davidson said the country’s housing market has been in a significant upswing phase for more than a year.
“Following the 2020 lockdown, confidence rebounded, unemployment fell, mortgage rates were cut, and deposit requirements eased, alongside other official measures which played a role in the strong performance of the housing market,” he said.
“Of course, nothing can go up forever and the already stretched position for housing affordability across NZ has further deteriorated in the past year.”