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REINZ Reveals True Impact Of 6 Days Of March Level 4 Lockdown On Real Estate Sales

Around 1,100 fewer sales happened during the 6 days of the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown in March than would have normally occurred during that period, according to analysis of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand’s (REINZ) March data.

However, sales didn’t grind to a complete halt, with more than 480 properties still sold during those 6 days using means such as online/telephone auctions or virtual tenders.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Analysis of March sales data across the country shows that for the first three weeks of the month, between 1,750 and 1,950 properties were sold each week. However, in the final week around 1,100 fewer sales occurred as a result of the Alert Level 4 lockdown coming into effect, that is approximately a 62% decrease on what we would have likely seen otherwise.

“Looking specifically at the 6 days of Alert Level 4 lockdown in March, more than 480 properties were sold across the country, with sales occurring in each region via online platforms. The majority of these sales were likely already being negotiated or had potential offers waiting before the country moved into Level 3 and subsequently Level 4 lockdown,” continues Norwell.

Regions with the largest percentage of sales were Auckland (22.1%), Canterbury (18.4%) and Wellington (10.9%).

“Whilst Auckland had the largest percentage of sales, it also appeared to be one of the most affected regions, with sales down 80% (109 properties sold, down from an average of 534 from the 3 six-day periods prior). However, Gisborne’s sales were down 83% with 2 properties sold, down from an average of 12 from the 3 six-day period prior). These regions were closely followed by Waikato which saw sales fall by -77% (31 properties sold, down from an average of 135 from the three six-day periods prior),” says Norwell.

Other regions that were heavily affected were:

  • Manawatu-Wanganui: -69% (24 properties sold, down from an average of 77 from the 3 six-day periods prior)
  • Wellington: -67% (54 properties sold, down from an average of 162 from the 3 six-day periods prior)
  • Northland: -66% (14 properties sold, down from an average of 42 from the 3 six-day periods prior)

Hawke’s Bay appeared to be the least affected region with -29% fewer properties sold than would be expected (34 properties sold, down from an average of 48 from the 3 six-day periods prior).

Other regions that were impacted to a lesser extent were:

  • Marlborough: -36% (12 properties sold, down from an average of 19 from the 3 six-day periods prior)
  • West Coast: -37% (4 properties sold, down from an average of 6 from the 3 six-day periods prior).

“Whilst lockdown has slowed the housing market across the country, it hasn’t stalled it. However, the key will be the level of activity that occurs in April when people have been unable to visit a property in person – even for private inspections.

“REINZ has continued to work with the Government to find ways to keep the industry moving through the various alert levels to ensure buyers and sellers can make property related transactions and try and move forward with their lives,” concludes Norwell.

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