The key question on everyone’s lips that we talk to currently is what effect the spread of coronavirus will have on the housing market.
History has shown us that people flock to housing and property in tough times. It’s often the volatile stock market and riskier investments that people take a second look at when economic factors change. Indications are that we will see a recession however the economic fundamentals heading into this uncertainty created by the virus were very strong so the length of time that we may be affected by containment measures and the flow on effect of that are largely unknown. We can feel buoyed by the New Zealand Government’s quick stance on quarantine rules, and its substantial assistance package to provide people and businesses with financial support.
The New Zealand Reserve Bank is also doing its part, by reducing the Official Cash Rate to an historic 0.25 per cent to stimulate the economy, and we’ve already started to see banks stepping up and standing by their customers. For us in the property market, we are planning for continued activity from our vendors and purchasers, and have put in place measures to ensure people remain safe, healthy and comfortable.
As our phones are our primary work tool in real estate, vendors can continue to contact us by phone, email or video conferencing and of course people can continue to view properties through our digital platforms and in some situations we have video walk throughs or a Matterport 3D virtual tours available. We’re also fortunate that our existing auction technology allows buyers to bid by telephone and watch the auction on Facebook Live and by other streaming methods and we can still transact property sales using electronic means
Whether you’re a vendor or purchaser, there are steps we can take to help keep you and others transacting real estate safe. Open homes have been cancelled for the time being and new policies and protocols implemented to ensure only electronic contact. All our salespeople are working from home as we do our bit to encourage social distancing and safe practises. If you’re purchasing a home under negotiation, unconditional offers will have a high chance of success in this market.
Please talk to us if you have any concerns. Your agent is the first port of call to contact and come up with a plan in relation to your property needs.
Ultimately our advice is to prepare, but don’t panic. Things are changing rapidly and we are all adapting to the ever changing landscape. We will keep you up to date as things progress but our main priority must be to stay safe and look out for each other, we’re all in this together.
[UPDATED MARCH 23 2020]