Looking to buy or sell real estate at level 2? Prepare for physical distancing, contact tracing and lots of cleaning.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) has released guidelines on how the sector will operate when the alert level is lowered and what can restart.

Open homes, rental viewings and auctions can all resume if fewer than 100 people attend and professionals, such as building inspectors and valuers, can inspect properties in person.

But everyone will need to stay a minimum of one metre apart at all times, "high touch" areas will need to be regularly cleaned and agents will need to be able to contact trace all customers and clients.

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Real estate firms can also open their doors for the first time since lockdown.

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said the time was now to safely get the country up and running again "in order to minimise the economic impacts on the country going forward".

"Getting the real estate profession up and running in a manner that is more 'normal' than we've seen in the past six weeks is a huge step and one that will be warmly welcomed by buyers, sellers and real estate agents across the country.

"We look forward to the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday around when and how the country can move to level 2, as I'm sure all New Zealanders will be," Norwell said.

At the lowered alert level, pre-settlement inspections can take place, settlements and moving house can occur, and sale and purchase or listing agreements can be negotiated and executed in person.

It comes after the first six days of lockdown saw the residential real estate market dive to a nine-year low and a national volume of nearly 5 per cent.

The first national house sale data from the Real Estate Institute capturing the initial lockdown showed a 4.8 per cent sales volume drop. Nationally, 6866 residential properties were sold in March, 347 fewer properties than a year ago and the lowest in March in nine years, REINZ earlier announced.

The real estate sector was not classified as essential and the institute has estimated daily sales of around $125 million a day are being lost, equating to a possible loss of trade about $3.6 billion during the lockdown.


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Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website