Demand for fireplaces rises after Covid-19

Covid-19 and the resulting lockdown and closure of our borders has had an unusual side-effect – desire for fireplaces has risen markedly in New Zealand and Australia.

Dunedin-based top-end fireplace manufacturers Escea, whose sophisticated products are exported to North America and Australia, say they have noticed a definite trend during lockdowns, with Australian sales figures doubling year on year.

Alex Hodge,design lead for Escea. Photo / Supplied
Alex Hodge,design lead for Escea. Photo / Supplied

Why? Lockdown is one reason and the design lead for Escea, Alex Hodge, says the comfort and security they bring is another reason.

Hodge says the company has noticed a distinct rise in demand since Covid-19’s emergence six months ago: “Now travel restrictions are in place, customers have a greater incentive to improve or renovate their homes – both factors have resulted in a surge of interest for our products over the last few months.”

Kiwis are also putting more value in New

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Home equity surges as demand soars and mortgage rates hover near lows

After a brief stall in home sales at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, homebuyers came rushing back in — so fast that prices never even took a hit. In fact, the gains in prices accelerated quickly, causing home equity to soar even more.  

Home equity for homeowners with a mortgage rose 6.6% annually in the second quarter, according to CoreLogic. Collectively, that adds up to a gain of $620 billion, or $9,800 per home.

Home values have continued to rise and are now up 5.1% annually, according to Zillow. Price gains accelerated in 48 of the 50 largest metropolitan housing markets across the country.

The reason is twofold: Demand is outpacing supply by a lot, and mortgage rates are sitting near record lows. The latter gives buyers more purchasing power.

The total supply of homes for sale was just over 29% lower annually for the week ending Sept. 12,

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