New Zealand Housing – An Overview

In general the standard of New Zealand houses is excellent, and because Kiwis are pretty house-proud, they tend to look after their properties very well. They tend to be a ‘do-it-your-self’ bunch and so maintenance is usually kept up to the mark. Many Kiwis enjoy gardening, and so their gardens are usually also very-well kept.

New Zealand urban houses generally comprise 3/4 bedroom and 2 bathrooms and are around 150 – 250 square metres and have a section size of around 400 – 500 square metres. In the larger cities, most new homes being built are two-storeyed, and there is also a trend towards `intensification’, particularly in Auckland, as a result of the shortage of land. This means that high-rise town-houses on small sections and two to six-story apartments are now being built to house the burgeoning population in this city.

The down-side is that New Zealand property prices are generally pretty expensive, in fact they are some of the highest in the World, especially in Auckland where there is an acute housing shortage, which is compounded by the shortage of land for development. Christchurch is also undergoing a housing shortage, and so prices there are also quite high. To give you an idea of what I mean, median Auckland prices are around $560,000, compared to the rest of the country around $390,000.

The other downside of New Zealand houses is that there was a period of time during the 1990’s and up to early 2000’s, when inadequate building materials, poor construction methods were used, and inspections during the building process were in some cases not up to the mark. As a result of this, a number of houses built during this period suffer from `leaky-home-syndrome’, and they now need to be re-clad, which is a very costly exercise. So if you are looking to buy a house in New Zealand, you would be well-advised to have any home built during this period very thoroughly checked out before you put in an offer to buy.

The construction materials used in New Zealand homes generally comprise timber framing, tile roofs, brick or weather-board cladding. Modern homes now need to be fully insulated and in the colder areas of New Zealand double glazing is the norm. Heating is by electricity or gas, making them very liveable.

Another tip is that if you relocate to New Zealand, you are best to rent for a while until you are able to settle, decide where you want to live in terms of proximity to schooling, work etc. If you are looking to immigrate to New Zealand, we can provide you with advice on whether you are able to qualify for a work or business visa to New Zealand.

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