Queenstown property

PHOTO: GEORGE HEARD/STUFF Queenstown, Queenstown Housing, Lake Hayes Estate

A large Queenstown residential property auction is expected to give the first indication of how badly the region’s property market has been affected by Covid-19.

With the complete shut down of international tourism Queenstown’s economy is expected to be amongst the hardest hit in New Zealand.

Median property values soared past $1 million last year, establishing Queenstown prices as the highest in New Zealand.

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But the market is showing signs of a massive shift with a huge increase in the availability of rental properties, a drop in rental prices, and many homeowners reliant on Airbnb income to pay their mortgage.

Some local observers believe the first changes will be evident when Bayleys Queenstown auction 23 homes on Friday.

Economist Benje Patterson said the number of properties being auctioned together was high for Queenstown and the sale was being seen as a barometer “for here and now”.