Post-Lockdown Housing Market Boom Set for Regional New Zealand

Christchurch, New Zealand -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/13/2020 -- As the global Covid-19 pandemic begins easing off in New Zealand, many citizens are seeking a change of location – either due to increased financial constraints as a result of the pandemic, or simply as a means of adjusting to a new way of life after being in lockdown for an extended period of time. This desire for change has led to a much-needed injection into the NZ housing market, particularly in smaller areas of the country like Dunedin and Nelson where houses and the general cost of living tend to be cheaper.

NZ's reduction in interest rates has further boosted the property market by enticing a growing number of first-time buyers to invest in property as, depending on the location and housing type, buying often works out to be the same, if not cheaper, than renting. The increase in first-time buyers, especially amongst those from the younger adult demographic, does mean that the rental market in the country is shifting, and there is yet to be a clear determination of how changes in the rental landscape will impact the market as a whole. However, there are already indications that longer-term rentals are gaining in popularity.

A further reason for the increased activity in the buying and selling of NZ properties is the return of many expats. The pandemic has influenced immigration trends in the country in various ways – either by causing expats who live and work overseas to remain in NZ for an extended time as a result of not being able to return to their countries, or by causing expats to return, possibly for good, upon their ability to re-enter NZ as a means of undoing the impact of a prolonged absence from friends and families while 'stranded' in other parts of the world. Current trends analysis indicates that many returning expats are choosing to call smaller, quieter parts of the country home.

While the pandemic prompted many to forecast a continuous decline in the market, this decline, for now, seems to be primarily located in larger areas like Auckland, as many begin moving to other parts of the country. This decline in one area means a boost in others, which helps to balance out the market as a whole and has worked to mitigate some of the more worrying predictions of the impact of the pandemic on the market. However, even though markets were essentially at a stand-still between March and May this year, the increased activity registered in June has been attributed to delayed sales that should have taken place during the lockdown months and is, therefore, not indicative of a growing market, per se. It's also clear that the current increased activity, while promising, is not at the same rate of what occurred at the same time last year and may already be reaching a plateau.

This signifies that while the more problematic results of the pandemic may have been skirted, NZ's property market is still tenuous at best, especially considering that the government has withdrawn its subsidies that were in place during the lockdown period. And, should the country experience a second wave of the disease, the market's current growth may not be sufficient for it to ride the storm. For now, though, those wishing to enter or participate in the NZ housing market would do well to turn their focus to smaller areas of the country that would certainly welcome the boost to their local economies.

If you would like to find out more about current market offerings or gain expert advice about listings in areas like Dunedin, Nelson, and Christchurch, visit

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Tom McSherry
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