Where the prices of property have increased in provincial New Zealand towns
May 2024

Where the prices of property have increased in provincial New Zealand towns

A lot has happened in the world over the past five years, and it’s safe to say plenty of it has changed the way we live and work. And when it comes to real estate, one of the most significant shifts (quite literally) has been people returning to provincial towns and regions.

These are the locations that back in March 2019 you might’ve been able to ‘grab a bargain’. But today - while they aren’t on par with the major cities - they have certainly decided to punch above their weight when it comes to sales prices.

Reefton, Buller

Within five years (to the end of February 2024), Reefton, on the South Island’s West Coast, has seen the average property value increase by nearly 137% to $383,000. Which means, house buyers in the region are now paying (on average) $221,000 more than they were in 2019.

This is an incredible achievement for the historic mining town, which may have once been labelled as ‘sleepy’. However this growth shows it’s anything but, with its affordability attracting buyers from all over the country.

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Mataura, Gore

At 10 minutes south of Gore, Mataura is also proving to be a popular destination for home buyers looking for a bargain outside of the big cities, with an average property value increase of 120% over the past five years.

Even with buyers paying $311,000 more than they were in 2019, it still offers plenty of opportunity to those looking to get onto the property ladder or downsize from a more expensive location.

Dobson, Grey

On the banks of the Grey River, at only 10km from Greymouth, is the town of Dobson, where the average property value has increased by 109%. This means you’ll be paying $349,000 more than buyers who purchased five years ago, but still relatively affordable compared to some of the major centres.

What’s also interesting is that nearby Cobden was named as New Zealand’s cheapest suburb in September 2020, with a median value of $155,300. At the end of February 2024, its average property value had risen 90.5%, an increase of $301,000.  

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Wairoa, Hawkes Bay

Halfway between Gisborne and Napier is the east coast settlement of Wairoa and it has seen the sixth highest increase in average property value at nearly 108% over the past five years.

Here buyers are paying $328,000 more than those in 2019, which is a significant jump, but in 2023 it was still one of the most affordable places to buy in New Zealand.

Otautau, Southland

A small farming, forestry and milling town north-west of Invercargill, Otautau has a five year change of 105.4% in its average property value, up $421,000.

Many of these will be lifestyle and rural properties, an almost certain reflection on more people choosing to leave cities and urban areas to a place where they can enjoy the space of a large block i.e. get more ‘bang for their buck’.

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Aramoho, Whanganui

Along the bank of the Whanganui River, on the outskirts of Whanganui, is Aramoho. Here the average property value increased by 104% over the past five years, taking it to $508,000.

There’s still a number of Whanganui suburbs with average property values lower than this - including Castlecliff, Gonville and Whanganui East - but Aramoho seems to be leading the growth in this region.

So, why the big jump for these particular locations?

Sure, they are all fantastic places to set up home, but experts attribute their particular growth to being in the country’s lowest price regions as well as being on the receiving end of first-home buyers during the post-Covid boom FOMO (fear of missing out) and subsequent market slow down.

And here at PGG Wrightson Real Estate, we’re on the frontline of the shift from big cities to provincial towns and rural regions. With offices located right across New Zealand, you’ll find our local salespeople at the very heart of these communities.

So if you’re keen to find out how to make your next move the right move, we can help.

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