By Kelvin Collins, CEO, Harcourts Highland Real Estate Group.
2016 has been a great year for New Zealand and Queenstown is perhaps the town that’s benefited most in the whole country. Our economy and tourism sectors and the Queenstown property market continue to be among the strongest and I expect to see continued prosperity and stability in 2017.
Positivity is pushing the economy forward
For several years, the progressive and positive people of Queenstown have harboured an optimistic and enterprising outlook to life. There’s a general confidence and a willingness to spend and invest that stimulates a booming economy.
We saw a frenzy of growth in Queenstown a couple of years ago but it’s more settled now; it’s more “normal”. We’re easing back into a strong growth market of a more sustainable pace, which should continue for several years. The economy works in cycles and I think this will be a long, steady and gainful one.
More people want to buy — but there’s not enough Queenstown property
Our economy is driven by high immigration which has caused a record high demand for Queenstown property. Both the number of sales and sale prices have increased year on year. Low interest rates, a lack of inflation and continued development and construction nurture the existing confidence and encourage property investment. Buyers know property here is going to keep growing in value.
The issue we have is providing enough housing for all the people who want to buy. With the prices of dwellings in suburban areas shooting up to 20 per cent more expensive than the cost of buying a section and building your home, people are opting for small independent building projects instead of existing property.
Although it’s great for them, this has got to be the slowest way of remedying the housing shortage. I’d love to see the council buy or allocate land to big building projects. It’s no secret that we need affordable housing if we want to keep locals and young enterprising people in Queenstown. New and modern apartment blocks are surely the most cost-effective way of doing this.
Our industries, transport links and connections are stronger than ever
More and more industries are burgeoning in Queenstown. With hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of construction planned for 2017, we’re attracting skilled workers and tradies in abundance.
Tourism, of course, continues to flourish and offers positions for out-of-towners and travellers who pump more money into our businesses. The airport’s recently expanded and created a load more jobs, going from 350 employees to 500. And a wealthy, semi-retired demographic is enjoying the luxury lifestyle Queenstown and the surrounds can offer.
Aucklanders and other city-dwellers are realising that with more flights, better internet connections and improved home-working technology there really is no reason they can’t live and work from our alpine paradise.
Everything under control — for now!
Our banks and economy here in New Zealand are relatively conservative which offers stability and steadiness, and makes Queenstown 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.
Queenstown is one of the main recipients of New Zealand’s economic strength. Like the rest of the country, we benefit from a strong currency, good trade and the healthy farming industry — but our unique appeal to tourists and immigrants sets us apart.
For the town to reap the rewards of this growth, we need to fortify our infrastructure and quickly put plans in place to build affordable housing.
Overall, I think the Queenstown property market will stabilise in 2017, sellers will continue to achieve high prices and investors can be safe in the knowledge their investments will grow in value.
If you’d like to sell in 2017, don’t hesitate to get in touch and chat with a friendly consultant.
Find out more about how we achieve great results for our sellers.
And don’t forget, you qualify for a completely free, no-obligation home appraisal to find out what your property’s worth.
Happy New Year from me and everyone at Harcourts Queenstown!