The Future of Property in the Marlborough Sounds

7 May, 2020

What's in store for our property market?

This question is top of mind for many Kiwis, as New Zealand begins its recovery from COVID-19.

Nestled at the top of the South Island, the Sounds is an idyllic spot to call home. Like other areas, the decline in international tourism is having an immediate impact, but a resilient forestry, aquaculture and thriving ports sector is helping pave the way forward for the community.

We spoke to Grant Douglas, the Owner of Tall Poppy Picton, for his thoughts on how his region is responding to COVID-19, and what will happen next in the local property market.

A Resilient Community

Many of the people who own property in the Sounds work in Essential Industries - the ferries, port facilities, logging and forestry, fishing, wineries, and aquaculture. Grant Douglas believes many people are well-placed to make it through.

There have been no sudden movements or urgent sales; If anything, this group will be well placed to make some smart investments towards the end of the year.

Forestry is a major local industry, with the logging wharf in Shakespeare Bay being the second deepest port in New Zealand.

There is a lot of logging underway as the pine forests planted 25 - 30 years ago are ready to be milled, offsetting some of the impacts to the local tourism industry.

Grant Douglas says many operators have worked hard to put the Sounds on the map as a destination. While the area has lost cruise ships and international visitors, it still appeals to Kiwi travellers and enquiries from domestic tourists coming in.

"One company I know of calculated 48% of their market was domestic, not including the Australian market. They are already receiving bookings for next summer with many coming from Auckland and lots of enquiries from Australia, which is lifting spirits" says Grant Douglas.

Opportunity for Growth

Grant says many buyers into the area come from other parts of the country and won't be able to view properties until travel restrictions lift.  However, sellers are still keen to sell, and he has several properties on the market which are receiving enquiries.

Of particular interest to buyers are lifestyle/sounds residential properties with boat access and road access.  Is this signalling a shift to a better work/life balance? Grant thinks so.

Interestingly, I think buyers have worked out that they can come and live in a cool place and work remotely.

 "It's easy. I do it and have all the systems in place to deal with any situation that arises. It will be interesting to watch this space as we move into Level 2 and 1 when it's easier for people to view properties," says Grant Douglas.

 Are you looking for expert advice about your next move in Picton or the Sounds? You can contact Grant Douglas or give our friendly team a call on 0800 82 55 76.