Century 21 New Zealand national manager Geoff Barnett has said first home buyers will most likely be pushed to make apartment purchases rather than houses this year, as they offer a more affordable entry point.
“I think the New Zealand story for 2016 will be more Kiwis buying apartments as their first home option,” says Barnett.
“The quality of construction and the overall living environment has improved dramatically in many of the new apartment developments now coming on stream.
“I believe 2016 will still be relatively strong across New Zealand when you consider the regions are performing well, interest rates remain low, and Auckland’s relentless population growth continues.”
More renters will be making the switch to the property market this year too, he says, as the average weekly rent across the Auckland region is now more than $500 and interest rates falling below 4.5% across some lenders.
“Subsequently we’re seeing more young couples and single people in particular coming into the Auckland housing market again which we haven’t seen for a while,” says Barnett.
“Admittedly, some are having to leave their more central rentals to buy further out. However it seems many are now more willing to accept a long commute if it gets them on the property ladder. For Century 21’s offices in peripheral Auckland, they’ll tell you for free that more ‘city kids’ are coming out every day.
“Rest assured as Australasia’s fastest growing city, Auckland will keep trucking along. Not surprisingly things eased back in the last quarter of 2015 as overseas buyers were hit with the new Government and Reserve Bank restrictions aimed at slowing down foreign investors in Auckland. But as we know people soon get used to new rules and just work with them.”