Open Homes

PHOTO: ROB STOCK/STUFF Open homes are cancelled. The housing market has ground to a temporary halt. Nobody knows what will happen when lockdown ends.

OPINION: Before the coronavirus pandemic, talking about what your house was worth, and how much equity you had, was a national obsession.

The same conversation now would be fraught with worry.

While we know what shares (and hence KiwiSaver funds) are worth because capital markets remain open, we do not have a functioning housing market.

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What houses are worth now, and will be worth in one month, two months, three months and six months time is anybody’s guess.

In one respect this does not matter.

Banks have been effectively told they must behave decently towards customers. They’d probably have done so anyway. Trying to force people to sell their homes right now, or trying to hold mortgagee sales, would be a farce, and would force Government to act.


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