With lines outside supermarkets getting smaller, retail malls opening, and the date of Level 1 tentatively being announced by our Prime Minister, we can all begin to feel more confident as we return to our new normal. As lockdown eases, experts are coming out with new data showing how Wellington and New Zealand have reacted economically to lockdown.
Fortunately Wellington has proven to have several advantages that will help soften the blow of lockdown on the economy, giving us an advantage that sadly many New Zealand regions don’t have.
Even with government doing all it can to support businesses there will likely be job losses and business closure in the coming months, particularly in the hospitality sector. Fortunately however Wellington has multiple "safe" sectors, the biggest being the government and hospital sectors, who are unlikely to suffer job losses. There are also multiple major road developments in the works which will not lose funding, the biggest being Transmission Gully, keeping many more safely employed. Wellington as well has a high percentage of office workers, many of whom were able to continue working from home during lock down, helping keep their businesses afloat.
Though Consumer Confidence has understandably plummeted according to the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating, that doesn’t seem to have put to much of a damper on retail spending since entering level 2. Data from Paymark indicates that in Alert Level 4 overall retail spending dropped 50% nationwide compared to pre-Covid levels, with spending in areas other than groceries down 90%. But since entering Alert Level 2 retail spending has rebounded surprisingly well, with spending levels down by only 2% compared to the same time last year.
International tourism in New Zealand has been put on hold for now, but thankfully Wellington wasn’t all that dependant on it anyway. WellingtonNZ general manager David Perks said of the $2.8 billion visitor spend within the region last year, about 70% came from the domestic market. Both ANZ and Westpac economic experts expect domestic tourism to spike this year as people will look around New Zealand instead of abroad for a holiday destination.
Here at HiAtlas we are still getting steady demand for furnished apartments as Wellington will always be the place to be. We'd love to hear from you if you are interested in one of our available properties or have a property that would fit in our portfolio.