Advisers prepare for second lockdown

Mortgage advisers are preparing to run their businesses under lockdown once again as Auckland goes into alert level three at midday. 

Bruce Patten

The Government last night revealed the return of Covid-19 with community transmission in South Auckland, meaning the city goes into alert level three, while the rest of New Zealand returns to level two. 

This morning, mortgage brokers are scrambling to get their businesses ready for a return to lockdown conditions. 

NZFSG's Bruce Patten said his team was already set up to work from home, with half of employees already doing business remotely. 

"The rest of us will return home this morning after we meet to divvy up the workloads once again and start contacting our clients to check in with them."

Joel Oliver of SuperCity Mortgages said his business would focus on email communications and social media channels to keep customers informed. 

Oliver added the group would be "keeping the pulse on banks' movements in regards to policy and rate changes" and would have "cash flow funders such as Prospa on speed dial to help out clients with immediate cash flow pressures". 

The return to lockdown is likely to lead to significant pressures on SME businesses, who suffered greatly under the first period of enforced isolation.

While the new lockdown has only been put in place until the weekend, businesses expect the period will go on for longer in Auckland.

The advisers are hopeful, however, that housing market activity will hold up. 

Oliver said: "Just overnight I received three loan applications for pre-approvals for new properties with each applicant fully aware of the lockdown so there will continue to be activity, that cheap money is enticing people to upgrade their homes."

Patten added: "I don't have too many concerns right now, because it will probably mean more people stay put, so listings will continue to be scarce which in turn will hold the market prices up."

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