Rural Insight -
Prices have calmed 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.
Overall affordability is being influenced by higher interest rates. The growing sentiment that long-term interest rates have peaked is providing more confidence to buyers around the future for interest rates.
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.
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.
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.
The impact of the National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land remains unclear. Aimed at protecting land used for food production, it may reduce subdivision potential for larger rural properties on the urban fringe. This will likely reduce rezoning opportunities but also constrain the future supply of new lifestyle properties.