In just the first two days of Level 3, Trade Me Property reported 35 new rental listings and 25 houses for sale in Nelson. Photo: File.

Industry predicts steady property prices

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Nelson’s property market is busy playing catch-up after four weeks of “pent-up” listings that were hindered by the Covid-19 Level 4 lockdown.

In just the first two days of Level 3, TradeMe Property reported 35 new rental listings and 25 houses for sale in Nelson.

General manager for Summit Property Management, Stewart Henry, says they’ve had to adapt to strict new criteria for rentals.

“We are now allowed to show rental properties, but there are rules. We’re can only have two parties through each property and only two people in their bubble can look.”

Because of this, he says people shouldn’t be “browsing” and only enquiring if they are serious on a certain rental.

“The demand for rentals is there, but you’ve got to remember we’ve got a four-weeks pent-up on people not being able to get through.

“We’ve also had a whole month of not being able to take on any new stock, and people haven’t been able to move out. We’re basically just on catch up at the moment.”

Stewart says he hasn’t seen Covid-19 have any influence on rental prices.

“It hasn’t had an impact yet, the cost of median rent has not changed.”

Rental property inspections can’t happen until we reach Level 2, but he says property managers have made a point of checking in with tenants and owners.

Meanwhile, Nelson real estate agents got the go-ahead to show potential buyers through homes last week – but they have had to adapt to how they do this.

Kate Bradley, owner of RE/MAX EliteNelson says they are allowed to bring up to two groups of up to two people through a property each day.

“The vendor will go out, and we go in and open up all the doors and cupboards. The potential buyers have to wait in their car and will then go in with gloves and sanitiser.”

The viewings are “reasonably fast” and contact tracing is a must.

“It’s really not as laid back as it used to be – there’s no more stopping in the lounge to have a chat.”

Kate says they have had to embrace technology to help them create connections with both buyers and vendors.

“We are an industry of ‘hello and shake my hand’ so we are having to create that relationship in different ways.”

This includes doing virtual viewings and appraisals, creating videos of properties and Face Timing vendors to answer any questions.

“It’s teaching us new skills – and those than can adapt will succeed.”

She says the demand for property is still there from serious buyers, but the low level of stock coming through is no change from preCovid-19 times.

“We haven’t had enough stock for quite some time. Everyone is struggling to get the listings.”

But the demand for property is still there and she doesn’t predict the lockdown will see much movement in prices.

“We’re still getting calls and people through.”

Mark Rumsey, owner and principal of Ray White Nelson, Richmond and Motueka says the adaptation to Level 3 has been relatively straightforward.

“It’s going really smoothly – the only frustration is not being able to show as many people though properties.”

He says they are seeing the same demand for well-priced and presented properties, although it is too early to see the bigger picture yet.

“Anecdotally, the properties priced over $1 million are still receiving interest, but not at the same rate and the middle $400 – $700k properties are seeing really good attention.

“Overall, everything’s just been dumbed down and while stock is always tight in our region, I don’t think it’s much different from pre-Covid-19.”