The Auckland housing market has already shaken off the COVID-19 blues and the rest of the country isn't far behind, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.
The REINZ's latest sales figures to the end of July show that in the first seven months of this year, more homes were sold in Auckland than in the first seven months of last year.
They show the Auckland housing market made a strong start to this year, with the number of sales up by between 15.2% and 48.3% in the first three months of 2020 compared to the same period of last year.
But when Level 4 lockdown started to bite sales volumes plummeted, down 67% in April compared to April last year, and down 41.1% in May compared to the same month of last year.
But the recovery was swift, with June's sales up 12.7% compared to June last year, and July's sales up 30.3% compared to July last year.
Overall, that means Auckland sales in the first seven months of the year were 1.7% higher than the same period of last year.
"No one could have predicted just how the residential property market would be impacted from COVID-10," REINZ Chief Executive Bindi Norwell said.
"If you'd have asked people back in March how long it would take to recover, the answers would have varied from months to years.
"Even just a few weeks ago, people were still predicting that the next few weeks might look more like a post-Global Financial Crisis environment, so to have this level of turnaround is surprising," she said.
However the figures also show that markets in the rest of the country haven't been as quick to recover as Auckland.
Although sales in the rest of New Zealand excluding Auckland, grew strongly in June and July compared to the same months last year, they were still down 14.7% overall in the first seven months of this year compared to the same period of 2019.
Perhaps surprisingly, the three regions where sales are still down the most compared to last year are some of the most affordable regions in the country - Gisborne -26.4%, Otago -20.1% and Southland -22.5% (see the table below for the full regional breakdown).
"Looking at the data on a month-by-month basis, it may not be too long until the rest of the country has caught up or even surpassed last year's sales volumes, especially as June and July saw most regions, with just a few exceptions, surpass last year's sales volumes by a significant percentage," Norwell said.
REINZ Sales Comparison - Percentage Change from Same Month Last Year
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