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North Otago real estate is still hot property, even during lockdown.

Oamaru real estate agents have kept busy during Level 4, fielding calls and online inquiries about listings, many from Aucklanders showing strong interest in a move south.

LJ Hooker Oamaru principal Stephen Robertson said while lockdown had interrupted some work, his phone had been “ringing non-stop”.

“People are siting at home, surfing the net and contemplating a move – there’s a lot of Auckland inquiry coming through.”

After last year’s lockdown, activity was predicted to drop in North Otago.

“But actually it was the opposite – I think everyone throughout the county experienced an uplift in sales volume.”

While the number of houses available for sale in North Otago had dropped before lockdown to its lowest level in about 16 years, Mr Robertson was still expecting a “busy spring”.

“There looks to be a spring push coming through … looks like we’ve got good stock coming on the market.”

Open homes can resume under Alert Level 3, but are limited to two visits per property per day and only two people from a bubble at each viewing. Only locals can take part in viewings, with regional travel restrictions still in place.

Property Brokers Oamaru sales manager Heather Burgher said the agency had several appointments already set up.

Property Brokers agents had been fielding inquiries from across the country, as Oamaru had become a “sought after” location, Ms Burgher said.

“Even a lot of locals are realising, ‘wow, this is an amazing place to be part of’.”

Lockdown also provided the opportunity for agents to check in with people in the community.

“A lot of people are struggling out there, so it’s not necessarily even ringing to inquire about any business, it’s just checking up on your community.”

PGG Wrightson Real Estate North Otago branch manager John Sinnamon said while agents had been restricted with what they could do in a physical sense during lockdown, some contracts had been completed and there had been a rise in general inquiries about the district from people considering a move from elsewhere.

“Not all of them are ready to do something straight away but a lot of them are contemplating movement and the lockdown has given them the opportunity to perhaps spend a bit more time in front of their screen or viewing their newspapers [looking at listings].

“There’s been some good interest from throughout the country.”

Harcourts Oamaru sales manager Jack Townsend said the level of interest in North Otago properties during lockdown was “surprisingly good”.

There was a shortage of listings, but he was expecting numbers to pick up in spring and summer.

“We’ve all got people waiting for spring – there are flowers in the garden, the grass is green and I know of quite a few listings we expect to come in.”