The last few years have had their difficulties, especially when it comes to travel. However, it’s looking like it will be a year of more opportunities, excitement, and the perfect time to buy your dream home in New Zealand.
For a fairly small country, New Zealand’s landscape is extremely varied, with the option to live by the beach, in a busy city or even in the mountains. There are plenty of places that would make a dream location for your holiday home or forever home. So, where are the best places to buy? We list our top 5.
1. Queenstown, Otago
Basing yourself in the ‘adventure capital of the world’ means more than just bungy jumping and sky diving. If you select Queenstown in the Otago region when you move to New Zealand you’ll be treated to lakeside alpine living, gorgeous surrounding countryside, a cosmopolitan arts and dining scene, plus there are a fair few top-notch wineries just outside of town.
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From Queenstown, it’s easy to enjoy day trips to some of the South Island’s biggest highlights, including Lake Wanaka, Milford Sound, Mount Aspiring National Park and Glenorchy for the Routeburn trek.
Property prices: The median house price in Queenstown is approximately $1,000,000 (£536,000).
2. Kaikoura, Canterbury
For a laid-back lifestyle in a hip beachside town try Kaikoura on the east coast of the South Island. Kaikoura’s natural backdrop is hard to beat; rolling farmland, snow-capped mountains and views of the South Pacific Ocean, where whales and dolphins regularly pass by. Plus, there are whole colonies of local penguins and seals to make friends with. This is an arty, welcoming town where something is always happening at a bar or gallery. Christchurch is just over two hours away by car.
For a property in Kaikoura overlooking the water expect to pay a median price of approximately $495,000 (£263,000).
3. Dunedin, Otago
This is an excellent choice if you want to enjoy life at the beach, but also need to be somewhere with viable job prospects to allow you to flourish when you move to New Zealand. Although technically a city, with a population of around 115,000, Dunedin manages to retain that small-town vibe, and you’ll be able to snap up job opportunities in publishing, tech, education, manufacturing and research.
In Dunedin, you can while away days at the beach, or enjoy the delights of the city centre, which include a bevy of second-hand shops, art galleries, markets, bars and lots of affordable dining options. The Asian food here is seriously good! The population is a mixture of ages, from students to families and retirees, so you’re sure to find your tribe. Dunedin also has its own international airport should you need to get from A to B quickly.
If you want to live in the South Island, Dunedin is one of the most affordable major centres. The median cost of property is approximately $607,000 (£322,000).
4. Milford, Auckland
If Auckland’s suburbs are where your sights are set when you move to New Zealand, Milford is a terrific choice. You and your family can enjoy life by the water at the two-kilometre-long beach, and beside Lake Pupuke. Getting into Auckland’s CBD (Central Business District) is simple, either with a 13-minute drive or a 25-minute train journey, making it a convenient choice for those facing a commute. If you’re planning to emigrate as a family, this corner of the city is particularly renowned for its excellent schools.
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Due to its great location, the properties don’t come cheap. The average cost of a property in Milford is approximately $1.34 million (£710,000).
5. Wellington, North Island
Wellington is located on the southern tip of the North Island and is an exciting spot offering culture, outdoor activities galore and waterside living. In Wellington, you’re never more than 15 minutes from the seashore. Nicknamed the “coolest little city in the world” by Lonely Planet, Wellington boasts more cafés, bars and restaurants per capita than New York City. With farmland to the north and ocean to the south, the capital is known for having some of the best restaurants in the country, complemented by excellent regional wines, and a café culture that rivals Melbourne.
Wellington is cultural spot too – it’s the centre of New Zealand’s film industry, has a rich history, great galleries, live music, world-class education and healthcare and a population of friendly, outdoorsy, environmentally-conscious people.
The median house price currently sits at approximately $677,500 (£360,000). This is considerably less than Auckland’s median home price