By Kelvin Collins, CEO, Harcourts Highland Real Estate Group.
2016 has been a brilliant year for New Zealand and Central Otago in particular is benefiting from that. Our economy, tourism sector and property market continue to prosper and I expect continued growth and stability in 2017.
Buyers looking beyond the obvious
With Queenstown and Wanaka — two hotspots of the lower South Island — attracting unprecedented numbers of tourists and migrants over the past five years, it was only natural that people would start to seek out more affordable property in the surrounding areas.
And affordable they are — values remained about 90 per cent lower than those of Queenstown throughout 2016. But with sales showing a marked increase, it’s doubtful that these prices will stay quite as low — increased demand will create heightened competition and I think prices will rise in 2017.
But this is no bad thing for sellers nor buyers. Current homeowners have a great time to sell and buyers can be confident that their Central Otago property will rise in value once purchased.
Cromwell and Alexandra are two areas I have particular faith in — the expanding townships are making them well-established names in their own right. It’s a positive market and the population remains optimistic — they’re already spending and investing, confident that their Central Otago property will continue to rise in value.
Young property encourages investment
As a relatively young market, most Central Otago property is new and of good quality. Purchasers know that they’re investing in homes which are good to go for the next 20, 30 or even 40 years and very little maintenance will be needed in the meantime.
Everything under control — for now!
Our banks and economy here in New Zealand are relatively conservative which offers stability and steadiness, and makes property an attractive investment option. Everything looks to be under control — but, having said that, who knows what effects the Trump era will have. I certainly think it’ll be an interesting time! And, who knows, the US’s proposed withdrawal from the TPPA might actually result in better trade deals between the US and New Zealand.
Our approach to consultancy in 2017
On a personal note, we’re adapting the way we work at Harcourts to cater to a more informed and aware clientele. 20 years ago, real estate consultants operated in the vein of “knowledge is power” — but in today’s digital world, knowledge is available to everyone.
We see ourselves as more of a consultancy service, helping to decipher the language, patterns and laws of the real estate world. We want to help you make the emotional and important decision of real estate buying or selling and end up with the best results for you. It’s a way of working that’s more advice-giving and ultimately more enjoyable for all parties involved.
Central Otago is proving to be one of the main recipients of New Zealand’s economic strength. Its strong horticultural and agricultural scenes ensure there’s a constant influx of money to the area and towns such as Cromwell and Alexandra are really thriving.
I’m excited about the future there and I think our offices will continue to hold a strong market share as we help sellers and buyers achieve their dreams in Central Otago paradise.
And don’t forget, you qualify for a completely free, zero-obligation home appraisal to find out what your home’s worth in 2017.
Happy New Year from me and everyone at our Central Otago Harcourts offices!