PHOTO: ROSA WOODS/STUFFNew Zealand could be a more attractive place to live if there is a widespread international outbreak, Tony Alexander says.

New Zealanders are being warned the spread of coronavirus could hit tourism and exports – but one economist says they could be affected even closer to home.

Independent economist Tony Alexander said the virus, of which there have so far been more than 6165 confirmed cases and more than 130 deaths, could have an impact on house prices.

There could be both positive and negative effects, he said.

“The pace of economic growth in the country will be slowed by the reduction in tourism activity and increased caution by consumers and businesses generally. This will reduce the ability of businesses to raise prices and reduce the chances of inflation moving upward. That means less chance of higher interest rates this year and the return of a possibility that rates get cut – though that would be a brave call this early in the process.”


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