Tauranga holiday homes have been the hot topic in New Zealand’s financial sector and the country’s stock markets for months.
In the last 12 months, holiday home prices in Auckland have risen from an average of NZ$1.6 million in 2013 to NZ$4.2 million in 2018, according to the latest data available.
The trend has been driven by two factors.
Firstly, interest rates are lower, and secondly, Kiwis are more optimistic about their futures, according the latest figures from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
The Reserve Bank expects the inflation rate to remain around 2.5 per cent until 2020, with the Bank of England forecasting the rate to fall to 1.8 per cent in the second half of the year.
It’s a trend that will only continue.
“We expect Auckland’s real estate market to grow from a low base to a high one as people realise the high housing prices are no longer a risk to them,” said David Tynan, chief economist at BNP Paribas.
“The only way the market can grow faster is if we see more people purchasing and more people living in holiday homes.”
It’s the first time the Reserve has forecast Auckland will be able to sustain an annual real estate price growth rate above 2 per cent for the foreseeable future.
Auckland holiday homes are among the hottest property markets in the world.
In December 2017, the market saw a total of 972 new holiday homes built, with sales increasing from 632 in January 2018 to 974 in June 2019.
And in September 2019, it reached a new peak with 586 new holiday home sales.
The number of holiday homes being built continues to grow.
In September 2019 the number of new holiday property sales was up 6 per cent compared to the same month last year, while the average price of a new holiday house was up 16 per cent to $2.1 million.
The growth in the market has been fuelled by the Reserve’s forecast for Auckland’s annual inflation rate of 2.7 per cent.
With rates lower than expected, investors have taken notice.
They are starting to buy property in Auckland and other Australian cities, with a market share exceeding 20 per cent, according of the latest annual results from Real Estate Institute of New South Wales.
With prices continuing to rise, a number of factors are behind the market’s surge.
Firstly the market is oversupplied with holiday homes.
Auckland’s rental market is among the most expensive in New England, and many people are looking to rent instead of buying.
A total of 1,731 new holiday houses were built in Auckland in the year to September 2018, up 6.5 percentage points on the same period last year.
A further 5,084 holiday homes were built between June and September 2019.
The average price was $1.9 million, up 11 per cent on the previous year.
However, a significant number of houses were underutilised, with only 39 per cent of all new holiday properties being rented.
Another reason for the high demand is Auckland’s population.
According to the Reserve, Auckland has a population of around 12.7 million people, with over one-third living in the city centre.
The city has been a major tourist destination for the last decade, with more than 50 million visitors last year and another 100 million visitors expected this year.
But with the economy in decline, the housing market is being hit hard.
“New Zealand’s housing market continues to be oversuppressed, but this oversupply is not driven by population growth,” said Tyn, “and is instead being driven by a shortage of affordable holiday homes due to the fact that there are so many new homes being developed by foreign investors in the Auckland market.”
New Zealand has more than 3,000 holiday homes on the market, and the number is expected to continue to rise.
With the market still recovering from the severe housing shortage caused by the global financial crisis, many investors are looking for a safe haven, which can be found in Auckland.
A number of overseas investors are now investing in the New Zealand housing market, with many choosing to stay in the country.
While the average Auckland holiday home price is up 16.6 per cent from the previous 12 months in 2018 to 2019, that’s still less than the national average of US$3.4 million.
A spokesperson for the Reserve said that Auckland was one of the “most attractive destinations in the international market”.
They said there were opportunities for both foreign and domestic investors in Auckland, which included the prospect of more foreign investment in the housing sector.
“Foreign investment is a key driver of the growth in Auckland holiday house prices,” said the spokesperson.
“With foreign investors increasingly choosing to live in the state, there is an opportunity to create new homes that are more affordable and attract new tenants.”
The Reserve said Auckland’s holiday homes could be a valuable investment opportunity for investors who