Being mortgage free and having a lot of money is tempting, but there are some fishing rods to buy in places where homes are very cheap.
Cobden, just over the bridge from the center of Greymouth, is New Zealand’s cheapest suburb at a median value of $ 155,300. It just took the crown off its road rivals, Runānga, according to the latest data from CoreLogic.
Despite their low prices, or perhaps because of that, Greymouth’s property market is busier than ever post-Covid, said real estate agent Rob Maskill of Property Brokerage.
The West Coast that is dependent on tourism expects the worst when Covid-19 closed the border, but contrary to the grim predictions of domestic tourists has flocked to the area. Other than that, Government project funds are ready to shovel has allocated $ 90 million to the West Coast on the promise of hundreds of jobs.
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“It took Greymouth a long time to reach its peak like everyone else has, but we generally find things are improving,” said Maskill, who has been selling homes around Greymouth for 20 years.
“Property prices here have been steadily increasing over the past six or seven months, so even though it’s still cheap, it’s cheaper than if you came back a year ago.”
The price is about $ 20,000 more than 12 months ago, he said.
“This is for sure unlike Auckland – generally when we list properties we get two or three questions, but it’s much better than before. “
Maskill sells about 100 homes a year, and over the past two years it has sold most of its properties to Property Brokers across the country, “so this just goes to show that a little old town like Greymouth and that cheap neighborhood you can be successful.
In Cobden and Runānga, the houses tend to be older, weather-board, three-bedroom homes, while in Greymouth there are several executive-style homes for sale for over $ 500,000.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a house I couldn’t sell, to be fair,” he said.
“I have a completely filled house, basically pull-down material, but there’s always a house for everyone if you offer the right price.
“Our land is generally freehold here, so worst case scenario you get a little dirt.”
Buyers range from first-time homebuyers and people arriving to the area such as Kiwi expats or returning former West Coasters.
The town is just minutes from the beach and bush, and about three hours’ drive to Christchurch. It takes 40 minutes to fly to Christchurch from Hokitika, 30 kilometers to the south.
“You can still sell the worst house in Auckland for $ 600,000, $ 700,000, and have a new home and a really good lifestyle here,” he said.
“I think that’s what a lot of people are paying attention to here, we’re still relatively able to buy a house and make dreams come true that you can’t get anywhere else now.”
Homes are selling out fast in the Gray District, said CoreLogic senior property economist Kelvin Davidson. In the past 12 months, the average day to sell Cobden was under 10, and in Runānga it was 29 days.
Rental yields are also high, 9.7 percent in Cobden and 9.5 percent in Runānga, while the national average is more like 4 percent.
“You might look at that and say, what a place to be an investor, but that comes with an extra risk too,” said Davidson.
“There probably won’t be that many tenants circulating at one time, so you may face longer job periods, which undercuts your effective returns.
“And also of course we know the Gray District does face some economic challenges, and this is the slower growing part of the country.”
While property prices may have increased over the past year, over the previous five years Cobden’s median value fell 4 percent as the national value increased.
“The results may look good, but you may have a higher risk of vacancies and if you bought five years ago, you actually had a capital loss. This is quite an important consideration. “
Other inexpensive areas are Mataura, just north of Invercargill, and Pātea, in South Taranaki.
More people work remotely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and infrastructure such as broadband has improved across the country, making it more possible to work outside New Zealand’s cities.
However, having an airport nearby is key for many remote jobs, so people can go to headquarters or meet clients.
Cities in South Wairarapa, such as Martinborough and Featherston, are ideal for remote work because of their proximity to Wellington, says Davidson, even though the area is more expensive.
“It’s a pretty long road to drive anywhere greater, or to fly, especially from Greymouth. Driving to Invercargill will be fine and fine from Mataura, but flight schedules have been scaled there too.
“But if you don’t have to go to headquarters very often, then there are benefits there.”
It’s not just transportation – being able to socialize and feel connected is important too, he says.
“The lure of being mortgage-free can be so great that you’re willing to sacrifice a few other things to do it.
“Did you move from Auckland to Cobden, I don’t know.”
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