We are now a total of two months into the level one of the COVID response, where we are practically back to normal and beginning to see how the pandemic has/will affect our lives. going against the grain of doon and gloom, we are going to look at a couple of positive news stories around the market post-lockdown.
Overseas Buyers Tempted by COVID-free Status
Real estate listings website Realestate.co.nz says there seems to be a link between publicity about New Zealand’s Covid-19 status and surges of interest in local property from offshore buyers. Spokeswoman Vanessa Taylor said international buyer numbers had been monitored closely since the country went into lockdown in March.
April 2, when the country had its largest number of new Covid-19 cases for a single day, was also the low point for international traffic. When there were no new cases reported on May 4, for the first time since March 16, international traffic spiked to just under 15,000 unique browsers.
But it’s not just international buyers who could be having a vested interest, Real Estate Institute chief executive Bindi Norwell said there was a clear pattern of New Zealanders returning home to the “safe haven” of New Zealand.
“Predictions are that up to 100,000 Kiwis could return home before Christmas if the Covid-19 situation continues in a similar fashion as we’re seeing right now,” she said.
“For many Kiwis this has marked the start of their return to a new life in New Zealand which includes purchasing a property for them and their family to live in, and reports from agents around the country are that returning New Zealanders make up a good proportion of buyers at the moment.
“Agents have also been fielding calls from smaller numbers of non-Kiwis considering a move to New Zealand, but the foreign buyer ban is impacting their ability to purchase property and may impact their decision making process around whether they would consider a move to New Zealand in the future along with issues around visas, international travel.”
House Prices Have remained Steady
REINZ said June marked 105 months in a row of national prices increases, with Auckland’s median a up 9.2 per cent from $850,000 a year ago to $928,000 last month.
Earlier this year, there were a number of predictions that house prices would fall post-covid,” said institute chief executive Bindi Norwell.
“However, we are yet to see any evidence of that happening with every region in the country seeing an uplift from the same time last year, and 10 out of 16 regions seeing an uplift from May.
“With wage subsidies and mortgage holidays still in place and demand for good property exceeding supply, we wouldn’t be so bold as to say there won’t be an easing of pricing in the coming months when these support mechanisms come to an end. But right now, Kiwis’ love affair with property continues unabated – especially with the low-interest rates we currently have in the market,” she said.