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House prices in Gore have increased recently and local real estate businesses are feeling positive about the future despite the challenges posed by Covid-19.

The latest QV House Price Index lists the average house value for Gore as $279,637.

This is up 6.7% in the last quarter and 20.3% year on year.

Ray White Gore branch owner and real estate agent Nicole Cronin said that business had been slow in lockdown.

“I’ve been working from home,” Mrs Cronin said.

“There have been a few listings, but well down on normal.”

Sales had also been affected but were still being made.

“We should be able to hold prices,” she said.

“There are low stock supplies and a good number of buyer inquiries.”

Buyer confidence would take some time to recover but Gore was a stable market.

“Our region is based on agriculture,” she said.

“I can’t see that we’ll have much of an adjustment.”

First National Gore business manager Torrone Smith said First National had adapted to the challenge of lockdown.

“There were no settlements in Level 4,” Mr Smith said.

“We’ve been busy in Level 3. We are getting a lot of inquiries.”

The housing market was facing “six to 18 months of uncertainty” but he also believed Gore was well positioned to weather this.

“Unemployment is low in Gore. We don’t have the tourism of places like Queenstown.

“We’re a rural community.

“We don’t have that fear.”

Southern Wide Real Estate office manager Debra McKenzie said her company had not made any sales during lockdown.

“Sales that were scheduled to go through in the lockdown period have been delayed,” Mrs McKenzie said.

Lawyers had altered agreements so possession would take place 10 days into Level 2 instead.

Open homes were not allowed under lockdown and private viewings had been arranged instead.

The agents were looking forward to operating normally as the risk of Covid-19 receded, she said.

“Agents and clients build a better rapport face to face.”

Bayleys Gore branch partner Julie Mitchell was pleased with how business had continued under lockdown.

Despite “the challenge of doing everything at home”, she had sold four properties, she said.

The housing market in Gore was in a good position, Mrs Mitchell said.

“We would be naive to think that there would be no effects.

“But there have been lots of inquiries online from outside the Gore area.

“People want to move here.

“We are not as exposed to higher prices as other parts of the country.”

Harcourts sales manager Kylie Anderson said sales declined during Level 4 but revived during Level 3.

“The markets are moving again,” Ms Anderson said.

The future was hard to predict but signs seemed positive.

“The rental shortage isn’t going anywhere.”

She had had three offers on one property already, Ms Anderson said.

“The demand is still there.”