What’s Good in the Hood?
Right now, one of the recurring queries when working with people hoping to purchase in a specific location is, ‘what’s this community like?’ ‘Do you know much about the neighbourhood?’ And, ‘is this an area where you can really feel part of things?’
It’s becoming a post-lockdown reality as people seek to feel that they and their families belong. It’s possibly a trend that will gain considerable traction and reflects the activities that became the focus during the various lockdown stages. Daily walks whilst keeping your social distance involved greeting everyone, strangers and neighbours alike. Grocery drops and medication runs, something my own family did for previously unknown locals, made the world of difference to them and us. All of it cementing a sense of care, especially for those in our local community.
And now it’s needed even more. Our city, our businesses and our country’s financial well-being going forward depend on it. Everywhere in New Zealand, the call is going out to buy local, ‘back your own backyard’ and do what you can to help. At a national level, the introduction of reduced LVR (Loan to Value Ratio) restrictions means those lofty deposits of recent years are now no longer required and first-home owners are benefiting. As are those with mortgages, and investors, who can take some comfort from low – and likely to go lower – interest rates.
There’s a stockpile of positives but there’s also a mountain of uncertainty. Exactly what will happen to property prices? What effect will the winter have? Where will the unemployment levels get to? And there’s also an election to consider. The smart money is on certainty if you’re a seller, a family-friendly location if you’re a buyer. There’s been an emergence of some ‘hot’ suburbs that, whilst traditionally slower to attract interest, are really doing well now, and an awareness that no matter where you are in the property cycle or your own life cycle, it’s time to do a lot more of it locally.
Lynette McFadden, Harcourts gold Business Owner