Kiwis returning home look to Canterbury property market

Real estate agents across Canterbury are experiencing an increased number of off-shore inquiries from New Zealanders based overseas.

Bayleys residential and projects divisional manager Justin Haley said the company had received about 24 off-shore inquiries from New Zealanders based overseas across all of its Canterbury divisions.

He said this was a lot more off-shore inquiries than usual.

“There have been some who had already returned prior to the lockdown and with the intentions of just spending lockdown here but then realised that it is actually a far more attractive scenario to stay,” he said.

“There are also people inquiring who are still abroad from places where the lockdown has been far more severe than what it was in New Zealand.

“All that great press we are getting for the potential annihilation of Covid is becoming very attractive for some obviously.”

He said they were receiving inquires from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and also the United States.

Harcourts sales consultant Cindy-Lee Sinclair said she had also received about six off-shore inquiries over the last two weeks.

Sinclair said she had also heard of other real estate agents in the region receiving similar inquiries.

Core Logic head of research Nick Goodall said the increased demand from overseas could cushion the projected Covid-19 blow to property prices.

“There is a general prediction that demand for property will be reduced due to increasing unemployment, the effect on wages and the uncertainty that brings,” he said.

“The fact that we are going to have a general reduction in demand from people already living here, returning kiwis could hold the market at a bit more stead in terms of maintaining a bit of that demand that would not have been there, so it will create some upward pressure on prices.”

According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, about 1100 fewer sales happened during the first six days of the lockdown in comparison to the same period in previous years.

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