Private property viewings allowed under level three

Thursday 23 April 2020

The property market has received a boost after Housing Minister Megan Woods confirmed that private viewings will be allowed under alert level three.

By The Landlord

Prospective home buyers and rental tenants can view homes under level three, REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell has confirmed.

Private viewings by appointment can resume once alert level three comes into effect on Tuesday.

The government's decision will allow buyers to complete pre-purchase inspections and will help landlords fill vacant properties after a month of inactivity.

Open homes remain off-limits, however.

The government is working through the details of how viewings will work under level three, with social distancing and safety measures to be implemented amid the covid-19 outbreak.

Norwell welcomed the decision to allow viewings.

She says they are delighted to receive the news that private viewings can take place under alert level three.

“We look forward to receiving the further details we need over the coming days in order to make this happen. We are also pleased that the government has listened to industry feedback.

“This means that the thousands of people around the country who have been in limbo over the past few weeks can now move forward with their property transactions."

Norwell said the government decision was a "big relief" and would help buyers who have been unable to conduct pre-settlement inspections, and buyers left in limbo "paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bridging finance each week".

Century 21 New Zealand owner Derryn Mayne agrees. She says they are anticipating plenty of activity in the coming weeks with Kiwis keen to make decisions.

“Regardless of Covid-19, many families still want a bigger home, empty nesters still want to downsize, and first-home buyers still want to make the most of record-low interest rates.

While some property commentators’ crystal ball gaze, it’s important to remember that New Zealand went into lockdown with all the real estate fundamentals looking up and housing stock in clear demand, she says.

“News that the Reserve Bank is likely to temporarily scrap its LVR restrictions will help as serious buyers haven’t disappeared.

“They’ve just been getting onto their computers rather than into their cars. In fact, Kiwis have been looking at property online in droves, with real estate websites reporting more traffic and longer average user times over the past month.”

Maynes adds they are very conscious it’s still not business as usual. “With some clear and practical guidelines in place for real estate to operate under Level 3, we’re keen to make it work for buyers and sellers alike."

The government is yet to give guidance on what the real estate market will look like at alert level two, which is expected to come into effect two weeks after level three.

Read more:

Life at level three for residential landlords

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