The year 2020 will be a memorable one! It will be a year that we will never forget because, for a period of time, our lives were turned upside down by the coronavirus. Who could have foreseen the country being in lockdown, the international borders being closed and our movements – both internally and world-wide – being severely restricted? Even our work patterns were adapted to cater for those who were forced to work from home. As the year winds down though, we are seeing something like normality returning to our daily routines and there are many who have prospered during a time of adversity.

Putting aside the setbacks of 2020, it is a time to take stock and to be thankful for where we are today. Not everyone agreed with the stringent conditions we were subjected to by our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and her medical advisor, Ashley Bloomfield, but with the benefit of hind sight, it is difficult to dispute the effectiveness of the measures they put in place; measures that hailed New Zealand as world leaders in the fight against Covid-19. The management of this crisis situation was handled skillfully and with a firm hand – and the communication to the general public during lock-down was superb.

There seems little doubt that the manner in which our Prime Minister and her party handled the big decisions of 2020 was the catalyst for the landslide victory they enjoyed at the recent elections. Conversely, it could be argued that the apparent blasé respect that Donald Trump showed for the virus has also reflected in his demise at the more recent USA elections! Deaths and serious illness from the virus continue to ravage the USA.

Earlier this year, many were predicting a serious falloff in house prices and a tightening of consumer spending as a by-product of the virus. Nothing could have been further from the truth with record sale prices and sale volumes being recorded nation-wide for residential housing. The retail sector has also enjoyed strong sales in the lead up to Christmas while the white-ware and motor industries are also reportedly doing very well in this post-Covid era. The perception is that “if we can’t enjoy an overseas holiday then we will indulge in some of life’s other luxuries!”

There was a time when millionaires were a rarity in this country and if you reached this category then you were deemed to have made it in life! How commonplace this status has now become with the rapid escalation of house prices in the last year elevating thousands of homeowners into this category. Tommy’s has always advocated that owning residential property should be considered as a medium to long term project. The market is cyclical and long term ownership provides adequate time to enjoy the market highs and to ride through the inevitable lows. Who could have foreseen the huge price increases of 2020 though? The market movement of this year makes any predictions for the coming year pure speculation but realistically, we should expect some measures being taken to steady the ship! At the same time, we don’t see prices slipping below current levels to any degree. What we have now is likely to be the new norm!

As a company reliant on public support we would like to thank all the loyal clients who have supported us in 2020. You have shown trust in Tommy’s, often purchasing property with minimal opportunities for a proper pre-purchase inspection and more often than not, in the face of strong competition. You have assisted us in meeting stringent conditions in regard to social distancing, recording of attendances at our offices and at open homes and in sanitation matters. With your help, we have been able to carry on business and to maintain our position as a major player in residential real estate in the greater Wellington area including the Hutt Valley, Kapiti Coast and Tawa/Paremata.

Tommy’s has always shown their appreciation to the public who support them by making a significant financial contribution annually to various charitable organisations. 2020 has been no exception, with upward of $150,000 being donated to various not-for-profit organisations.  Tommy’s major beneficiary is the Wellington Free Ambulance who continue to provide an outstanding contribution to the health and wellbeing of the general public. Tommy’s has also offered financial assistance to Given to You, Wellington Children’s Hospital, Life Education Trust, Tommy’s Local Heroes and a number of other worthy charities.

As we come to the end of this year, we would like to extend to our valued clients our best wishes for a safe and enjoyable Christmas. Enjoy time with family and friends and we look forward to working with you again in the future. Tommy’s will have sales staff available during the holiday break to attend to your immediate needs and to prepare the marketing plans for your property if a January sale is on your agenda. We invite you to call us for advice and practical assistance.

Good luck to you all and to your families and best wishes for a great year in 2021.

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