Housing in New Zealand

A place you can call home

The vast majority of people contacting us wish to become New Zealand residents. And with the resident visa comes the right to purchase residential property in New Zealand. For all people coming to New Zealand on a work visa, you will have the option to rent, weekly, before you become a resident and commit to purchasing a house. Excluding Auckland, the national median for 3-4 bedrooms rental was NZ$460 in August 2018 (TradeMeProperty).

If you are renting, the landlord is responsible for insuring and maintaining the building, and liable for local council taxes. Utility bills are usually paid by the tenant. Some people also like the idea of sharing a tenancy, or flatting. A room in a 3 or 4 bedroom home will cost you around $150-180 per week, which often includes water/power/internet.

Renting in New Zealand?

You can find rental properties by using a real estate agent or directly by contacting landlords of looking up a website such as TradeMe.

In most cases, landlords will ask for 1 or 2 weeks' rent in advance, and a bond that can be up to 4 weeks' rent, which you will get back when you leave the property without damage.

A wide range of options

Whether you favour a rural lifestyle, suburban homes, or an apartment in a bustling CBD, New Zealand has it all. You will find, however, that most houses are built to favour an outdoor lifestyle, as we love our patch of grass and barbecue. The vast majority of houses are standalone, with apartment also common in major city hubs.

New Zealand building standards

The materials that are commonly used to build houses in the country are very different from those used in Europe and North America. It is true that houses are built to very different financial limitations in New Zealand and the priorities of homeowners are not quite the same as of those in Europe or the US. Accepting these facts is the first step in understanding the nature of the New Zealand housing market, as you must realise that there may not be a property that will meet all of the needs you first decided upon before you knew what was available.

With this in mind, it is important to point out that this does not mean you should expect poor quality housing, poor workmanship or inferior materials; in fact, it just means that your budget might not go as far in New Zealand as it did in your native country due to the development of the housing market, demand and the evolution of the New Zealand economy.

House prices in New Zealand

House prices in New Zealand's more desirable areas are constantly on the up, with average prices in some areas, such as the currently very fashionable Herne Bay suburb of Auckland, pushing up to $2 Million New Zealand Dollars. Currently, average house prices in Auckland in general are around $700,000 and are predicted to be averaging $1 Million NZD within the next 4 years due to a massive upsurge in sales prices.

In terms of nation-wide house prices, prices took a few years to stabilise after the 2007 property boom, but are now on the up again; by 4% since then and 7.1% over 2012 – 2013. This now means that the average house price in New Zealand is $515,000 NZD. This upsurge has been fuelled by a number of variables, not least of which being foreign investment, which, let's face it, has been proven to be a very lucrative financial move.

What this means is that it had become very difficult for young native New Zealand adults to get a foot on the property ladder, something that the current government has tried to address. It seems, for the time being, they are achieving this, or at least working towards doing so, with the lowest mortgage rates seen in 50 years and rental rates also stabilising.

For new migrants moving here with some financial assets, it can mean that purchasing property in the country will take much more research, and, in turn, can also end up being a low risk but very beneficial short-term investment with potentially high realised gains. If you are on a tight budget, however, then it would be advisable to look for property within other not-so-highly desirable areas that are ‘on the up', possibly even in one of the new housing developments that have been built in Manukau, Albany or Stonefields.