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Real estate industry in New Zealand - statistics & facts

New Zealand’s real estate industry is dynamic and diverse, ranging from residential and commercial property to lifestyle blocks and rural farms. Housing demand in the residential market is expected to continue to rise, with urban centers becoming even more populated. Nevertheless, the dream of homeownership has been discarded for many in the country, with high property prices limiting the homeownership rate. In recent years, the rapidly rising costs of residential property have initiated changes in property law, specifically relating to discouraging investment home purchasing.

Commercial property is generally rented, making this segment a significant investment market in the country. The office segment leads this market in terms of sales and property transfers. The construction sector has been booming, and new buildings are subject to stricter building regulations to ensure the quality of dwellings is continually improved.

Housing affordability

Housing affordability has become an important issue across the country. With house prices rising disproportionally compared to incomes, many believe New Zealand is in a property bubble. The homeownership rate was at its lowest level since 1951, partly due to rising house prices across the country. New Zealand has one of the highest house price-to-income ratios in the world.

In an attempt to tackle the affordability problem, in 2018, the New Zealand government passed legislation that would only allow New Zealand residents, Australians, and Singaporeans to buy homes in the country, restricting residential property buying by foreign investors. Furthermore, in 2021, a capital gains tax was introduced for residential investment property sales in New Zealand. This tax applies to profit made from homes that are sold within five years of purchase. In terms of home financing, the majority of residential mortgage lending went to owner-occupiers where the property was not their first home.

Commercial real estate

Commercial properties in New Zealand are widely available, with supply continually being built. The market includes office, retail, accommodation, mixed-use, and industrial buildings. Commercial property can be purchased with tenants and leases already present. In the second half of 2021, most purchasers of commercial property were investors. While most of this investment was from local buyers, overseas investors also made a significant contribution.

Moving towards better quality housing

Residential housing quality has been a prevalent issue in recent times. According to many homeowners, homes in New Zealand are damp and cold. While renters generally found their accommodation to be suitable, many reported housing quality issues such as the presence of mold. To improve the living conditions of homeowners and renters, many government initiatives have been introduced such as the Healthy Homes Initiative and Warmer Kiwi Homes. These aim to provide support and government funding for insulation and heating in existing homes to try to combat cold and damp living conditions for residents who need it.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 33 most important statistics relating to "Real estate industry in New Zealand".


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