Urban escapees are fuelling a surge in the lifestyle property market.
REINZ figures show Waikato lifestyle property sales were up 100 per cent in the last three months as Hamilton residents sell up and move to the country.
That’s on top of Aucklanders moving south and doing the same, said Harcourts Rototuna rural and lifestyle specialist Trent Finlay.
“There are two parts to the market,” Finlay said. “There are still a lot of people moving out of Auckland – cashing up and buying lifestyle properties here in the Waikato. And you’ve got the other part of the market, which is first-time lifestylers leaving Hamilton city as it gets a little busier and more developed.”
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Bayley’s Cambridge branch manager Alistair Scown said young families are making the move to more open space, too, as long as they stay close to city conveniences.
“There is still a location requirement. Schooling becomes important and facilities a town offers. Sporting facilities play a big part,” Scown said.
But Waikato is bucking the national trend.
Around the country, 1716 lifestyle property sales – with a total value of $5.77 billion – were recorded in the three months to March 2018. That’s down 14.7 per cent on the same period in 2017, when 2011 properties were sold.
There were 7344 lifestyle properties sold in the 12 months to March 2018, down 17.5 per cent on the 12 months to March 2017, when 8902 lifestyle properties were sold.
But lifestyle properties in Cambridge, Te Awamutu and in North Waikato are showing strength.
REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said there was considerable easing in the three months to February 2018, but the market showed a “solid upturn”, particularly in the north of the North Island.
Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty all showed significant lifts in sales volumes at 146 per cent, 100 per cent and 73 per cent respectively.
Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Manawatū and Wellington are short of listings and the South Island has been steady.