Realtor owner calls for mortgage holiday extension

by Roxanne Libatique29 Jul 2020

Century 21 New Zealand owner Derryn Mayne is calling for an extension of mortgage holidays as the general election and the end of the extended wage subsidy are set to transpire in September.

On March 24, the government, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), and banks announced a six-month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) impacted by the COVID-19.

“New Zealand real estate is facing a triple whammy in September, which will be detrimental to house prices and industry activity unless the government steps in,” Mayne said.

“Having supported over 1.7 million jobs, the hugely successful wage subsidy scheme comes to an end on September 01,” she continued.

“We have a general election on September 19, which always sees real estate activity slow, then on September 24, the mortgage holiday scheme is due to expire. This could be a spring of discontent for thousands of Kiwis, but it doesn't have to be.”

Read more: House prices continue to rise post lockdown

Mayne noted the resilience of the country's real estate market amid the COVID-19 crisis, with the negative forecasts in March and April yet to be proven right.

“Industry statistics show median house prices across New Zealand are well up on last year, and most regions are still experiencing price lifts month to month. REINZ also reported the highest number of new listings and properties sold for the month of June in four years,” she said.

“Real estate is defying any negativity, and that's great for overall business and consumer confidence. A perfect storm is now on the horizon, but we still have time to avoid it. The government, Reserve Bank, and retail banks acted decisively back in March. We need that same bold leadership again, and soon.”

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