ASB CEO Barbara Chapman says she’s not concerned about the slow state of the housing market, blaming the slowness on the September 23 election.

“Right at the moment I think we’ve got to realise we’re in the throes of an election period,” Chapman told “And we do see that during an election period activity in the market can quieten down. And so I’ve got no concerns with where the market is at the moment.”

ASB’s June quarterly disclosure statement shows the bank grew residential mortgage lending by a net $493 million, or 1%, in the June quarter to $51.283 billion. It’s New Zealand’s second biggest mortgage lending after ANZ with 21.7% marketshare. “I do think that the Reserve Bank [loan-to-value ratio] restrictions have had an impact and I think that’s been a good thing,” Chapman said. Just prior to the introduction of the high loan-to-value ratio restrictions in 2013 the majority of ASB’s net new mortgage lending was coming from high LVR loans.

“I do think that there still is a shortage of housing in Auckland, which puts a floor on any thought of any price falls. We still need more housing stock in Auckland and that will still hold the market high. So I don’t have any particular concerns about where the market is at the moment. And I just think we wait to see what happens with the election and just see what happens in the market after that,” said Chapman.