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Home transfers tumble during lockdown – Media release

28 July 2020

The number of home transfers dropped substantially during the COVID-19 level 4 lockdown period, Stats NZ said today.

“During the level 4 lockdown in late March and April 2020, home transfers tumbled to around the same weekly number as in early January when most kiwis are on holiday,” property statistics manager Dave Adair said.

The COVID-19 level 4 lockdown prevented normal activity for real estate enterprises, but property transfers were still processed.  

“The number of home transfers immediately picked up as the COVID-19 alert level dropped from four to three effectively on Tuesday 28 April,” Mr Adair said.

“Then during May, June, and early July, the number of home transfers returned to within 80 percent of the 2019 level.”

In the April 2020 month there were 4,158 home transfers, down 65 percent from 11,952 in April 2019. Home transfers rose to near 12,000 in May 2020 (down 17 percent from May 2019). In June 2020 there were over 10,000 home transfers, down 11 percent on the same month last year.

In the June 2020 quarter, the number of home transfers was 30 percent lower than in the June 2019 quarter, after starting 2020 with higher numbers than the same period in 2019. Altogether in the first 11 weeks of 2020, the number of home transfers was ahead of the same period of 2019, then fell away as the COVID-19 level 4 lockdown came into effect at 11:59pm on Wednesday 25 March.