Home-buying interest to surge as cyclone payouts are settled

Most claims expected to be settled in a matter of months, says ICNZ

Home-buying interest to surge as cyclone payouts are settled

Catastrophe & Flood

By Kenneth Araullo

Interest in real estate properties are expected to surge as cyclone payouts are settled in the next couple of months. Real estate companies are reporting a surge in buyer interest in Hawke’s Bay following Cyclone Gabrielle, with some of that interest coming from people who have already received their insurance payouts and are in the market for new homes.

It’s worth noting that this surge for real estate is not yet at its peak. Of the nearly $890 million expected to be paid out due to Cyclone Gabrielle, only $70 million has made its way to customers’ pockets. Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) spokesman Christian Judge said that most insurance claims relating to Gabrielle will be settled “within a matter of months.”

Buyer activity in Hawke’s Bay on the rise

In a report from the NZ Herald, Sotheby’s International central region managing director Fraser Holland said that he noticed more buyer activity in Hawke’s Bay, and the cyclone is one of the main driving factors.

According to the ICNZ, not only did the region have the most claims relating to home and contents, but it also had the biggest cost associated with the payouts. An estimated $481 million of the $890 million insurance total figure will go towards Hawke’s Bay alone.

Although shopping for a new home may be a top priority for a lot of displaced New Zealanders at the moment, there may be some merit in holding off for a bit. Last week, finance minister and cyclone taskforce head Grant Robertson said that they are working with insurers to determine high-risk areas for floods, a factor which could make or break Kiwis’ next potential home.

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