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Mixed messages: a nation divided

Tags: Residential

Across New Zealand, the real estate landscape is in a state of flux, and it seems that the differing attributes and attitudes which define our regions and big cities are now more apparent than ever before.


Last month we detailed the shifting market cycle, and this month, we are feeling the effects – which coupled with seasonal changes, intensification and development have meant that virtually no two property markets across our great country are the same.

“From our offices in Northland right down to Gore, differences in the DNA of the regional buyer pool have meant that each market is performing remarkedly more differently than we have experienced in previous months” says Bayleys national residential marketing manager Daniel Coulson.

“Of course this is all offset by record levels of migration, with net migration recently hitting a new record and rising to 71,932 in the 12 months ending March 31” adds Bayleys head of research Ian Little.

“Despite many of these bound for Auckland, the large composition of expatriate New Zealander’s returning home seeking economic stability has meant that the spread across the regions is more observable than previously thought.

“Upon arrival from major centres in Australia, Asia and the United Kingdom, expatriate Kiwis are increasingly looking to lay roots in the regions they once called home - which is music to the ears of local markets which may have suffered under recent credit rationing.”

Smaller centres such as Gisborne, the Hawke’s Bay and Motueka are all reporting positive growth in terms of sale values, volumes and inventory when compared year-on-year, thanks to their ever strengthening appeal to cashed-up buyer classes.

“Compared with main centres, some of our smaller regions have avoided the same inconsistencies which have affected places like Auckland and Wellington.

“We are attracting residents back to our patch and also presenting an affordable option to those seeking a change of pace from big city life” says Karen Raureti, sales manager for Bayleys Gisborne.

And she’s right, the tangible withdrawal of investors and first-home buyers from the market in main centres Auckland and Wellington following the October 2016 implementation of tightened loan-to-value restrictions certainly didn’t have the same profound effect on sales activity across the regions as witnessed in main centres.

“Markets in regions like Gisborne and Tasman report a lower level of ownership for the purpose of investing, thus leaving them less vulnerable to the regulations which have been targeted towards curbing this activity” Mr Coulson says.

While development and future plans for infrastructure are usually clear indicators for growth across localised areas, buyer behaviour is having a more profound effect on the sales performance of our domestic housing market, making it more important than ever before to stay in touch with the driving factors of our local economies.

“Despite the basic principles which fuel the residential housing market remaining the same (demand, supply and lending), it’s critical for seller’s to understand who the right buyer for their property is, in order to secure a satisfactory sale price” says Ms Raureti

“Each of our regions offer buyers something unique, and it’s imperative that sellers align themselves with sales professionals who understand the special attributes of their local market.”

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