Covid-free New Zealand tempts foreign property buyers

Real estate listings website 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.

Through to the early part of June, international traffic continued to increase as the country moved to Level 1 and reported no new cases for many days.

But on June 16, when two women released from isolation early were found to have Covid-19, traffic had started to decline again.

Taylor said the data would continue to be watched but it seemed that there was a clear correlation.

If there was a big increase in demand for houses as New Zealand continued to succeed against Covid-19, that would support prices, she said.

Many people coming back to New Zealand from time spent in other countries were bringing significant amounts of money with them, she said.

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 across New Zealand were 9.2 per cent higher last month than in June 2019, at a median of $639,000.

Outside Auckland, house prices were 11.3 per cent higher year-on-year, at a median of $540,000.

Source: Stuff News

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