Renting will probably be the best option when you’re moving to New Zealand. Most agencies are still doing periodic tenancies, so you could find a short term lease. Increasingly people are turning to six or 12 month fixed term leases, says Carol Benny, Harcourt New Zealand’s business operations manager. You will need to pay a bond, one months’ rent in advance plus a letting fee.
The average rental price for a two bedroom flat in central west Auckland is $398 a week.
A three bedroom flat in Epsom is $404 a week and in Avondale you’ll pay $276 for a two bedroom flat or $318 for a two bedroom house.
A two bedroom flat in Wadestown or Thordon in Wellington averages at $370 a week. Further out, in Karori, expect to pay about £325 a week for a two bedroom flat.
“Keep an eye on the major websites to get a feel for areas and prices,” Benny says. Locate the property on Google Maps and make sure you see the place before signing anything.
The financial crisis has meant that lending criteria tightened in New Zealand, with a drop in mortgages. However, Bryan Thomson, chief executive of real estate group Harcourts, says the market is picking up again.
“Home affordability is better than for many years,” he adds. “Plus there is a good selection of property available.”
House prices have dropped by 7.1 per cent over the past year and the average price in New Zealand is now around $351,000, according to property information company QV. You will also have to factor in legal fees and possibly a property inspection report.
Average house prices
Queenstown $594, 137
Wellington $430, 939
“The key thing is to ensure you do your homework and that you are able to make decisions rapidly and intelligently or you will miss the best opportunities,” says Thomson.
He suggests organising pre-approved finance and researching where you wish to live.