The Future of Property - New Plymouth

28 September, 2020

New Plymouth is known for its sunny climate, beautiful gardens, art galleries, events, famous coastal walkway, and of course, its location under the magnificent Mt Taranaki. 

We spoke to Kim Fever, Business Partner for Tall Poppy New Plymouth, about how her region is responding to COVID-19, and what she thinks will happen next in the local property market.

Demand Exceeding Supply

Since the start of 2020, buyer demand has exceeded expectations, and the momentum continues. Kim Fever says prices have significantly increased in the last six months, for both residential and lifestyle properties and there’s a huge demand for sections, which are in short supply as land is scarce.

“Pre-COVID the first home buyer’s market had great momentum, whereas now we’re finding increased interest from all buyers. We’ve also noticed around a 30% increase in house sales.  Our issue now isn’t buyer activity, it’s having enough property supply to match the demand,” says Kim Fever.

Traditionally tourists to New Plymouth tend to be New Zealanders coming for our Garden Festival, Festival of lights, WOMAD and other local events and attractions.

“I’m seeing more locals spending money on tourist attractions – they’re making a real effort to shop local and are spending in their region as if they are tourists,” says Kim Fever.

Families flocking for the lifestyle

Many of the people moving to New Plymouth are relocating from the main centers like Auckland, Christchurch, Tauranga, and Wellington.

Now we can work from home people work from anywhere in NZ.  New Plymouth is seen as affordable, offering an incredible lifestyle and is a very family orientated city – that’s a big drawcard.

 “There’s a much bigger emphasis on family, and we often see parents coming to open homes looking for their children who want to move back to New Plymouth. Especially buyers in their 20’s to ’30s, who are moving closer to their parents and families before starting a family of their own,” says Kim Fever.

Opportunities and Challenges

One of the challenges of level 2, is that only ten people may view a property at a given time.  To manage buyer demand, Tall Poppy moved away from open homes and booked individual buyer appointments instead. 

Kim says the impact for First Home Buyers is generally the same as pre-COVID except that there is more competition.

“First home buyers also have to contend with multi offers, an increase in house prices and be mindful that finance is taking longer for the banks to approve. There are also fewer properties on the market under the $450,000 mark, meaning properties at the ‘First Home Buyer level’ are more limited than ever,” says Kim Fever.

Property developers are busy as demand for new builds is particularly high, although the land is scarce.

"Tradespeople are remarkably busy! I think people are attracted to new builds due to the low-maintenance lifestyle and warmth they offer. The biggest change has been higher pricing.  Previously, you could buy a new build for under $700k; now the prices have crossed that threshold.

“Buyers are looking for more land and bigger homes. They want to be more self-sustained, have their veggie gardens and space for their family. Moving from 3 to 4 bedrooms is popular because they need an office to be able to work from home.” says Kim Fever.

What’s next?

If we’re dealing long-term with COVID, there will be an effect on New Plymouth – traditionally we’ve always been less volatile in our property prices compared to the rest of the country. But there has been a significant increase in prices in the last six months.

“I think we’ll continue to have a good influx of people from the rest of the country and from people that have family here, says Kim Fever.

Are you looking for expert advice about your next move in New Plymouth? You can contact  Kim Fever or give our friendly team a call on 0800 82 55 76.