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Home transfers rebound in September quarter


Over 41,000 homes were transferred during the September 2020 quarter, the highest quarterly number in four years, Stats NZ said today.

The number of home transfers rose 14 percent in the September 2020 quarter compared with the same period in 2019, recovering from the series low of 26,265 in the June 2020 quarter.

“Despite the sharp drop in the June quarter, on an annual basis property transfers are almost back to levels seen a year ago,” acting property statistics manager Bryan Downes said.

In the year to September 2020, there were over 140,000 home transfers, down only 2.3 percent on the September 2019 year.

Transfers often involve a sale, but also include marriage settlements, and boundary or trustee changes.

Within the September 2020 quarter, the number of home transfers in July and August was about 7 percent higher than those for the same months in 2019. Then in the month of September, home transfers picked up to a 30 percent year-on-year rise.

“Home transfers in Auckland in the September month were up 39 percent on September 2019, despite COVID-19 level 2.5 restrictions being in place for much of the month,” Mr Downes said.

Rise in home transfers to people without NZ citizenship/resident visas

In the September 2020 quarter, the proportion of home transfers to people who did not hold New Zealand citizenship or a resident visa was 0.6 percent, up from 0.5 percent in the September 2019 quarter.

This proportion has been between 0.4 and 0.6 percent per quarter since early 2019. A law change in 2018 prevents most people who do not hold NZ citizenship or a resident visa from buying residential property in New Zealand.

Home transfers involving people who do not hold NZ citizenship or a resident visa continue to show a higher number of sellers than buyers.  This trend began with a drop in buyer numbers in the March 2019 quarter.