Expats help revitalize New Zealand’s real estate sector

Published:  15 Jul at 6 PM
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New Zealand’s real estate market is still defying worldwide doom and gloom.

Whilst realtors across the world are predicting massive drops in property valuation, New Zealand’s real estate prices are still on the up on last year’s figures. Whilst this is excellent news for those Kiwi expats who rented out their properties when they left, for those now returning to the home country to escape the coronavirus pandemic it’s a disaster. A June survey by a well-known Kiwi real estate agency noted median house prices across both islands increased in June by an amazing 9.2 per cent, continuing a 105-month increase and surprising the doom and gloom merchants and their predictions of recession.

Every region has seen a year-on-year increase, with the Waikato region on a record high with its increase of 17.1 per cent. Buyer demand hasn’t weakened and great prices are being had, amidst a surprisingly high volume of demand. According to professionals in the trade, returning expats fleeing Western countries’ dismal pandemic control efforts are accounting for much of the renewed interest in purchasing New Zealand property. Interest rates are now at record lows, lower deposits are being accepted and demand is accelerating due to the country’s excellent record in combating the deadly virus.

However, sector professionals are urging caution, as the six-month mortgage holiday is now almost at an end as is the government’s second round of wage subsidies. The only sector which isn’t thrilled at the above results is that of expats and would-be permanent arrivals for whom buying a home was part of the relocation plan. New Zealand isn’t the only country whose reaction to the pandemic was spot on as regards keeping it down and keeping the population safe as a result, but disaster scenarios such as seen in the USA and UK were always going to result in repatriation by New Zealanders and a home from home for those looking for a safe haven.
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