The Lockdown

NICK COWDY / Residential Sales Consultant

“We thank all those in essential services who are out there working for New Zealand while we support them by #stayinghome”

The lockdown has well and truly set in and I am sure most of you are more than ready to return to some sense of normality.

As a truly integrated company, our family and staff have been keeping in close communication to monitor the impact to our clients and customers in the Property Management, Residential Sales and Commercial Sales and Leasing divisions.

The reactions have been both obvious and surprising as different situations affect people differently.

As always, our Property Managers are working hard to keep up with the daily changes to make sure they are up to date and able to react appropriately to the multitude of different situations they are faced with.

All care is taken to accommodate both owners and tenants to make sure we can all navigate these uncertain times with safety, security and with as much certainty as we can offer.

Our Commercial team is faced with an unprecedented and unforeseen situation where a leasing clause, inserted by the Auckland District Law Society after the Canterbury earthquakes, has created some tension between owners and tenants.

Some affected tenants are requesting rent holidays or rent decreases. If granted, the owner is unlikely to be able to claim loss of rent (as most insurance policies exclude pandemics) and there is currently no Government support scheme available for Commercial property owners. With no clear guidance on what is legally correct, case by case solutions are being sought.

Our Residential Sales division is finding the uncertainty has put some plans on hold while others continue to buy and sell without concern. As we cannot show properties physically, we are mainly dealing with parties who viewed the properties prior to lockdown. However, we do expect to see some ‘sight unseen’ negotiations happening. Technology is certainly of great assistance to our teams in continuing to their work at this time.

We have pockets of activity from first home buyers wanting to move capital from their Kiwi Saver by buying property, as well as ex-pat Kiwis looking to return to New Zealand. There is also real motivation from those who sold unconditionally prior to lockdown and need a place to live.

We await a return to Level 3 with anticipation and look forward to clarifying how we can service our clients and customers at this alert level.

We are very proud to be a Christchurch family business and we thank all those in essential services who are out there working for New Zealand, while we support them by #stayinghome. With all the hardship and heartbreak our region has endured, we have faith that our combined efforts will see us supporting our local people, local businesses and local workforce. Together, our region’s resilience will prevail.