Lockdown and the COVID-19 global pandemic has seen us all spending more of our time at home.

Alert Level 2 saw more movement within the residential property market as open homes were able to get underway in a more traditional form, and offers and transactions progressed. Our legal teams have seen the speed of transactions begin to pick up now that people can visit banks and financial institutions to get their affairs in order.

We are hopeful that at Alert Level 1 this activity will continue to increase as risks of community transmission decrease.

An interesting outcome of COVID-19 has been the Reserve Bank's decision to remove the Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) requirements for the next 12 months. This action, theoretically, increases the amount a purchaser can borrow when compared to the value of the property. This may enable the purchase of a home or property by people who perhaps previously would have been unable to under due to LVR limits.

The impending move to Alert Level 1 means that we can return to a much more social existence. We can spread our wings, explore our environments and communities again and potentially take part in larger group social outings.

We are lucky in Christchurch to be spoilt for choice with living options. From inner city apartment living, small low maintenance sections closer to town and larger sections for those of us who enjoy some time in the garden and don't mind a longer commute.

For those renting, the wish to have more certainty around the place you call 'home' particularly in light of recent unprecedented changes in interest rates may be the driver to purchase your own property. However, as New Zealand enters what may be the greatest recession it has faced purchasers must ensure affordability in the longer term.

Perhaps now may be the time to consider your position within the property market.

We all need a place of safety, sanctuary and certainty. Our home is our castle.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.