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Property prices still very strong, despite August lockdown

“Unsurprisingly, the August numbers are lighter on listings and sales, but importantly they confirm the real estate market remains very strong,” says Tim Kearins, Owner of Century 21 New Zealand.

His comments follow REINZ releasing its Monthly Property Report for August – a month which saw the country in total lockdown halfway through it. Regardless, August saw median house prices across New Zealand increase by 25.5% to a record $850,000 in 12 months.

“Month-to-month growth has been becoming more sustainable, but all bets are off as to whether such sustainability will continue this spring. Century 21 offices south of Auckland are reporting strong buyer interest and great prices since operating under Level 2,” says Mr Kearins.

With REINZ confirming that ‘this latest lockdown has not dampened demand for, or confidence in, the housing market’, four out of 16 regions reached new record median prices, and 25 districts reached new record median highs. Auckland recorded another median price record - up 26.4% to $1,200,000.

The shortage of houses available for sale continues, with August showing another record low level of inventory.

“A lack of property listings remains a key driver for strong sale prices continuing. However, given the current lockdown uncertainty and the prospect of interest rates going up, this spring could prove stronger than the coming summer.

“With that in mind, we’re encouraging property owners to list sooner rather than later, particularly with post-lockdown pent-up demand only adding to the current fuel,” he says.

Mr Kearins says Century 21’s Auckland offices are looking forward to safely doing business in Level 3 – possibly from next week.

“When it arrives, Level 3 will make a big difference for Auckland. Although it will take an appointment, Auckland buyers will at least be able to view properties in person,” he says.

He says under Level 2, Century 21’s franchises across the Waikato report a rush of listings going live and busy open homes - albeit with strict public health requirements in place including limits on the number of people, contact tracing, and mask wearing.

“With the rest of the country again enjoying significant real estate activity, Auckland can also expect strong demand in the coming weeks. My advice to Aucklanders set to sell: Use this lockdown to prepare your property, so you’re out of the blocks when the buyers are,” says Tim Kearins.

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