Gisborne real estate set to come out of lockdown firing

With just one case of COVID-19 in Gisborne, the region is likely to be one of the first to come out of lockdown.

15 April 2020

160 Ngakoroa Road, Ormond, Gisborne

Gisborne real estate set to come out of lockdown firing

Modelling experts, looking at how the country could come out of Alert Level 4 lockdown, are considering an option where regions with fewer cases of COVID-19 emerge earlier than others.

Gisborne has reported just one case of COVID-19 – a man who travelled there from the US and who has reportedly recovered – making the region a potential favourite for coming out of lockdown ahead of the big cities if the Government decides to take that approach.

According to Gisborne real estate agents, they had a very busy selling period in the run up to 25 March and inquiries have continued flooding in during lockdown from buyers looking to relocate to the area.

Bronwyn Kay, an established local agent who is marketing some million dollar plus homes in beachside areas such as Makorori and Wainui, says Gisborne is seen as a safe haven to a lot of Kiwis in New Zealand and abroad right now.

“They’re looking for primary homes, they’re looking to relocate,” adds the established Gisborne agent. And the inquiries she’s receiving are predominantly coming from people in Wellington, she says.

Ms Kay is seeing buyer interest in two main areas – those seeking homes valued up to $450,000. She has had “a huge influx of inquiries” from first home buyers rather than investors, some from out of town, some who were looking previously. She thinks this is due to lower interest rates.

The other group of buyers are those looking at the higher end, $1 million to $2 million homes.

”They’re hoping to invest in the lifestyle. They're saying,”if the world looks like this, I may as well live right on the ocean,” “ says the local agent.

As well as current listings, Ms Kay has four or five properties to list immediately post lockdown. And her vendors can move quickly to accommodate buyers keen to relocate from the cities they are in.

“I have a lot of vacant property that people can buy and move into straight away – as soon as lockdown is over, you could be in, in two weeks,” she adds.

If you’re going to work remotely, why not by the ocean?

If the lockdown has proven one thing, it’s that people can work remotely, and this is already working well in Gisborne, says Ms Kay. She worked with one couple, a radiologist and a lecturer who moved up recently from Wellington, and are both successfully doing this. They love that their kids can walk to school, she says.

“I think people have experienced that they can be anywhere in the world - so why not a safe haven like Gissie?” says Ms Kay. Gisborne’s isolation is working for it these days, she adds.

“We’re like California 40 years ago, Wainui beach is something out of a chocolate box,” she says.

Fishing and surfing are the favourite activities for Gisborne residents. Meanwhile, Gisborne city is a vibrant place these days with its own theatre company, numerous cafes, three or four bookshops, and excellent schools.

Bayleys seeing such strong demand, sales during lockdown

Bayleys Gisborne also reported it was seeing a lift in the number of buyer inquiries in the region and has even sold properties during the lockdown, such is demand.

Interest is coming from buyers from Auckland, Tauranga and as far as Nelson, said Bayleys Gisborne sales manager, Karen Raureti.

“We’ve got a lot of good stock on our books and people want to go and look at it,” she says.

After lockdown lifts, she’s expecting a rush on the good stock, she adds.

“We’ve got very motivated sellers,” she adds.

“A lot of them have bought other properties so are committed to selling. We’ve got some estate sales and people moving for work.”

Bayleys had a group of properties scheduled for auction on 17 April and these were converted to tender as the country went into lockdown.

The brokerage has sold seven properties since 25 March, four of those were lifestyle properties and one was sold to a buyer, sight unseen, says Ms Raureti. Settlements are happening only if people are not moving into homes, she says.

Pre-lockdown, Bayleys Gisborne agents were run off their feet, the last auction before lockdown included one property with 15 buyers registered. If those buyers are still in a position to be purchasing, the market will be in a good place. And the company still has 25 active listings, says Ms Raureti.

She expects to see more expats come home.

“There are a lot of people who leave Gisborne to further their careers but Gisborne is seen as a safe place to come home to now,” says the sales manager.

Gisborne increasingly seen as a business hub

Gisborne is also being viewed as a region you can run your business from – Rocket Lab’s decision to expand its operation in Mahia (106 km away), for example, was a major boost for the town.

“Because of that interest, there was an influx of companies relocating to Gisborne – internet companies moving here,” says Ms Raureti. The town has become a draw from some really smart people, she says.

160 Ngakoroa Road, Ormond, Gisborne

For sale by Nikki McHugh, Bayleys Gisborne

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