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Even Recession Can’t Cool New Zealand’s Red-Hot Housing Market

  • Record-low interest rates cause property frenzy in New Zealand
  • RBNZ accused of fueling inequality with ultra-loose policy
General Economy in Auckland As New Zealand Publishes Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update Ahead of GDP Figures
Photographer: Brendon O'Hagan/Bloomberg
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It’s just suffered its biggest economic slump since the Great Depression, its border is closed and unemployment is rising, but New Zealand’s housing market is booming.

Undeterred by the recession, buyers are rushing to take advantage of the record-low borrowing costs delivered by the central bank as it seeks to reflate the economy. House prices, which had been expected to drop during the pandemic, have instead surged to fresh record highs. The average price rose an annual 8% in October to NZ$753,000 ($519,800), the fastest gain in more than three years, while sales soared 25% from a year earlier in the busiest month since 2016.