The Whanganui district's property market was still booming in March, with a record median house price of $352,560.
Latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) show the median price increased 2.2 per cent from the previous high of $345,000 in February 2020. It's a year on year increase of 33 per cent, with a median of $265,000 recorded in March 2019.
REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said March 2020 was an extremely buoyant month for residential property across the country, marking four months in a row where every region had an annual increase in median prices.
However, available housing stock decreased in March, with 67 properties on the market in Whanganui. That's down 17.3 per cent on February when there were 81 properties available and a year on year drop of 28 per cent from March 2019 (93 properties).
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Whanganui properties were slightly slower to sell in March, compared with the month on month and year on year data. Last month houses took a median of 31 days to sell, up 3 per cent on the 28 days recorded in February and up 4 per cent on March 2019's 27-day median.
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Before Covid-19 hit New Zealand's shores, the property market was in a strong period of growth, Norwell said.
"How big the effects of Covid-19 are is up for debate, but the impact will depend on a huge number of factors including how long the country is in an alert level 4 lockdown for, the level of unemployment, consumer and business confidence levels, people's ability to access finance (and finance their own mortgages) and how long the wider economy takes to recover. Property is a long-term investment and the market will recover; however, the question is, how long it takes to recover.
"Right now, in the alert level 4 lockdown period, people are still able to list their property for sale, but inspections can only be carried out online or via means such as virtual reality or 'walk-through' type tours.
"Going forward, we expect people will take a bit of a 'wait and see' approach when it comes to listing their property for sale. But for those who have decided after four weeks of being locked in their 'bubble' that they don't like their house any more, they will be desperate for the chance to move, so there may be some great opportunities for those wanting to buy and sell in the coming months."