Spring is on the way, which, for the property market, means a hive of activity as homeowners contemplate their next move. And this results in two key things - more listings for sale, and more buyers who are ready to seriously consider a lifestyle relocation.
In addition, we’re continuing to see the trend of people moving away from big cities to the regions of New Zealand, with many choosing to prioritise their dream lifestyle due to an opportunity to work remotely (or set up their business base in a new town). This will certainly have an impact on where we see an influx of activity over the next six to 12 months.
So, the question is, with spring just around the corner, which regions are starting to heat up?
In the winterless North, it’s always warmer than the rest of the country and PGG Wrightson Northland Real Estate Sales Manager John Duder says that while wider economic conditions are affecting some potential buyers, he’s still seeing plenty of signs of positivity in the lifestyle market.
“As people return to New Zealand from overseas, there is a desire to secure an escape out of the cities, in favour of a more laid back, country lifestyle.
A word to those thinking of heading north for spring, despite rising lending rates and global financial disruptions, properties in this region are still achieving high prices due to demand.
Waikato/Bay of Plenty
The Waikato and BOP is going from strength-to-strength as a central location that affords the best of both worlds - close to the amenities of major centres, but with a more relaxed lifestyle.
It’s something Camron Meade, PGG Wrightson Sales Manager for the Central North Island, is confident will deliver exceptional opportunities for those looking to buy soon.
“If the dream is to own a quality lifestyle property within Waikato or the Bay of Plenty, there will be no better time to buy than the spring and early summer market of 2023. I would expect a wonderful selection of listings to hit the market in October.”
To maximise a buyer’s success, he suggests being organised with the ability to move quickly when the right property arises.
“Engaging with your local PGG Wrightson Real Estate (PGGWRE) salesperson earlier rather than later will provide you with the best chance to secure the property you’re looking for.”
Lower North Island/East Coast
Winter hasn’t been too unkind for the property market in the East Coast and lower half of the North Island, with PGG Wrightson Sales Manager for the region Wayne Brooks reporting that a number of lifestyle properties have sold recently - some that had spent six to eight months on the market.
“We are seeing signs of a positive market as we move into spring, with a large range of property available - from high-end to more ‘entry level’ houses and lifestyle blocks for sale. Things have definitely settled and many sellers are buying back into the same market, so the changeover is all relative.”
There is also plenty of growth happening in places like Ohakea, the Manawatu Gorge upgrade linking to Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa, as well as a new KiwiRail regional freight hub, and Wayne says this is all contributing to more people looking at lifestyle opportunities in various locations across the Lower North Island and East Coast.
“With more listings coming forward to meet demand, my advice to buyers is to do their due diligence early when it comes to finance, so they know what they can look at price wise.
“And if they are new to the lifestyle property market, I also recommend understanding how it differs from buying a residential property in an urban location - from talking to an accountant about GST, to how septic tanks are cleaned and operated, to livestock water, shelter etc. This will allow them to buy with confidence.
“There’s plenty you need to know, but with the right knowledge, it’s definitely worth making the move.”
Linda Fogarty, PGG Wrightson Business Development Manager for Canterbury, says that while statistically listings are down, there are many people looking to buy. And by the number of appraisals her team is working on, Linda is seeing seller confidence slowly return, which is encouraging more homeowners to go to market.
“The Mid and South Canterbury regions are popular with lifestylers as they have so much to offer - from ski fields to fishing, boating and good, reliable infrastructure nearby. There’s also no going past the beautiful scenery that entices people to own their own slice of paradise.
“For buyers thinking about purchasing a lifestyle property, spring is definitely the right time to start your search. The Mid and South Canterbury market offers a diverse range of homes from entry-level lifestyle properties to elite lifestyle blocks.”
While parts of regional New Zealand may have seen a ‘lull’ over the past six months, many areas of Otago have had little time to catch their breath due to the growth they have been experiencing.
“Our market has been quite strong all the way through the past couple of years,” says Mike Direen, PGG Wrightson Branch Manager for Alexandra.
“This is because Central Otago has become an area of choice for many, as people have learnt to work from home, as well as enjoy the lifestyle our region has to offer.”
While he believes interest rates may have peaked, he also knows a lot of people have mortgages coming off fixed term and are facing quite a hike in their interest payments, so thinks this will have a steadying effect on the market, for the next season at least.
“But for those people coming from more expensive regions, lifestyle blocks around Central Otago will be very attractive buying. There’s a range of options from, small viticultural/ horticultural blocks providing a good income, productive irrigated land to run some stock or a couple of ponies, or native dryland where nothing needs to be done, freeing up time to enjoy the region.”
In Cromwell, agents have been fielding calls daily from people all over the country looking to move to the picturesque Central Otago town. And according to Kurt Snook, Branch Manager for PGGWRE Cromwell, there’s a number of reasons for this demand.
“Cromwell has managed to remain affordable while Queenstown and Wanaka properties continue to price people out of the market. But of course, with those popular locations less than an hour away, you can still enjoy their amenities and attractions, without the significant investment.”
One of the best things about PGG Wrightson Real Estate is that we have experienced agents nationwide, so no matter where you’re looking to buy (or sell) - there will always be a local professional able to help.
Now that you’re excited about finding somewhere new to call home, the next step is to check out our listings, contact an office directly, or send us an inquiry and we’ll get back to you. It’s our job to make your move as easy as possible.
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