For offshore buyers, New Zealand residential property is increasingly looking like a smart investment. The global financial crisis, coupled with the recent downgrading of the US dollar, has the international share market looking very shaky and investors are nervous. A percentage are looking to houses for sale in New Zealand as a safe place to invest funds.
To understand the NZ house market, one needs to understand that, despite the fact that our total population is smaller than many international cities, our house market is anything but a uniform one. An internet search of houses for sale in New Zealand would do little other than confuse as a two bedroom apartment in Auckland CBD may be of greater value than a 5 bedroom, 2 storey home in a descending provincial town.
Similarly, if attempting to understand residential market trends, generalized data under the heading homes for sale New Zealand may be very misleading – there will always be some areas trending upwards as employment and migration opportunities arise while others, inlining towns or suburbs will be trending downwards. As an example, the current weak employment and migration figures actually add strength to inner city Auckland as people move to NZ's largest city for reasons of employment.
The Rugby World Cup is also having a very positive effect as the area around the Auckland Viaduct, Wynyard Quarter and the Oriental Market is developed to cater for the anticipated influx of tourists.
Those keeping their eye on New Zealand homes for sale also have noted that Wellington, NZ's capital city, is also showing a general downward trend. To understand this, one needs to understand the Political and structural nature of NZ. Wellington is the center of National Government, based out of the parliament building known as the Beehive. Trends over the past few years are for Government agencies to trim staff as a way of meeting budget cuts. The decline in the number of public servants has had an effect up the numbers looking to own property in Wellington and this has claimed in the decline at prices.
Conversely, Auckland is the commercial capital of NZ and many companies have centralized their administration centers, creating internal migration as people move for greater employment opportunities.
What I've written so far would make it appear that Auckland is the only region where residential property is a great investment. This, of course, is not correct. There are many pockets where, for different reasons, residential property is a good investment. My advice to those looking at homes for sale in New Zealand is as follow.
– Firstly undertake some research into employment and demographic trends, making an attempt to understand the forces behind these trends.
– Secondly, gather data on specific regions to determine the most popular forms of residential real estate – people generally like what others like – unique properties tend to be difficult to resell.
– Finally, it is important to inquire as to any negative impacts within the region or by way of design or construction issues. For example New Zealand had a period during which untreated timber was allowed in external walls, and a form of plaster construction was popular, without any air cavity between internal and external walls. This leads to "leaky building syndrome". Even if rectified, buyers are very wary of this form of construction and selling may be very difficult.