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Glimmers Of Hope

The post-lockdown world is a new and uncertain one, but despite the bleak economic predictions there are signs of light at the end of the property world’s tunnel.

By: Miriam Bell

1 June 2020

Welcome to the postlockdown Covid-19 era. It’s a time when some aspects of life have returned to a semblance of what they once were, while others have not.

Most businesses have now reopened, although – odds are - how they go about their business has changed. Most people have been able to return to work not everyone though. Each day brings more news of mass job losses and dire predictions of what to expect from the economy in the months ahead.

All too often the future looks bleak with not much to be cheerful about. But there are glimmers of hope about. For example, economist Benje Patterson says that 3,136 businesses were started in New Zealand during April: these lockdown entrepreneurs personify the Kiwi can-do spirit in tough times.

Here at NZ Property Investor we are excited that with this June issue we can return to a hard copy format, while continuing to produce the magazine in digital format, too. We are now planning for the July issue of the magazine, which will be our 200th issue. This all feels like cause for celebration.

And, in putting together this issue of the magazine we found other reasons for optimism. While the impact, and pain, from the decimation of industries like tourism and hospitality can’t be ignored, many people I spoke to were surprisingly positive.

Take those interviewed for our report into the outlook for apartment markets around the country, which in this issue fills the place of our regular regional review.

The Auckland interviewees acknowledged the challenges facing the city’s CBD apartment, but the picture they present is far from solid doom and gloom. And the Wellington and Christchurch interviewees all took a pretty upbeat view of their markets.

When it comes to assessing the outlook for the broader property market, the people I spoke to, once again, recognised both the uncertainty and challenges ahead. But most also pointed to such mitigating factors as the fundamental supply shortage, a post lockdown pick-up in real estate interest, and mortgage rates at unprecedented lows.

Price expectations might be currently subdued but many commentators note that the environment is one that does make for investment opportunities – for those in a position to move.

What does this all mean? Well, maybe there’s more resilience at play than the experts take into account. And it definitely seems that Kiwi investors, who are in it for the long haul, will be seeking out ways to weather the storm successfully.

To that end, this issue’s lead article looks at adding value to properties via a tried and true strategy, while another article explores alternatives to bank financing for property buyers. Absorb and enjoy these offerings, which along with the rest of the magazine, aim to provide some more light to navigate this post lockdown world.

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