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Rural Insight lifestyle market sector report H1 2024

See below for a summary of the biggest trends in the lifestyle market, plus an outlook on the next 12 months.

Prices drop after a massive boost

Prices have reduced after big gains during the pandemic, but still remain elevated relative to the pre-pandemic levels. Sale processes are generally taking longer with more conditional buyers present. Agents are typically reporting that market conditions are shifting from weak to neutral.

Higher interest rates cause headwinds

Overall affordability has been impacted by higher interest rates. The growing sentiment that long-term interest rates have peaked is providing more confidence to buyers, although some remain concerned that interest rates could stay higher for longer.

Increase in cross-regional activity

Buyers continue to look outside their local areas, often driven by a desire to capitalise on a remote working lifestyle. Trend is most apparent amongst buyers based in metropolitan Auckland who can also benefit from more affordable prices in other regions.

Outlook for the next 12 months

Higher value properties remain attractive

Lifestyle properties with unique and high-spec homes continue to be in demand. Coastal locations and architecturally designed homes, alongside amenities like pools, ponds, ancillary buildings (sheds) and equestrian facilities are expected to remain standout drivers.

Remote working and connectivity extends buyer reach

A combination of improved connectivity coupled with working-from-home trends will continue to enable lifestyle ownership for a more diverse buyer pool. The search areas for some buyers will expand as they become less sensitive to driving distances.

Impact of government regulations not yet known

The impact of the National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land remains unclear. Aimed at protecting land used for food production, it may reduce rezoning and subdivision potential for larger rural properties on the urban fringe, but may also constrain the future supply of new lifestyle properties. Any changes in direction under the new coalition government are not yet clear.

Download full report (PDF)


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