The number of Kiwis moving to lifestyle blocks in the wake of COVID-19 is on the rise, according to new figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).
In July, 849 lifestyle properties were sold, compared to 594 in July of the year before - an increase of 42.9 percent, the latest data shows. That was also up on June's numbers, where 643 lifestyle properties were sold.
"As soon as the country went into lockdown agents started receiving calls from people wanting more space and lifestyle options given people were spending more time at home," Bindi Norwell, chief executive at REINZ, said on Friday.
"Now that technology makes working from home so viable, COVID has been a strong catalyst for many people to make the leap they’ve been talking about for years."
Norwell said sales of lifestyle properties have been increasing steadily in recent months, with last month having the highest number of lifestyle properties sold in a July month ever.
Sales increased in every region, except Marlborough (which was sales volumes flat) and Nelson.
"Every region that saw an annual increase in sales volumes of lifestyle properties during July saw double-digit increases, which is an incredible result," said Norwell.
"In fact, interest levels in lifestyle properties were so high in the Manawatu/Wanganui region that it was the highest number of lifestyle properties ever sold in Manawatu/Wanganui in a single month since records began. Additionally, sales volumes on the West Coast saw triple-figure increases, with the number of lifestyle properties was up by 157.1 percent when compared to July last year."
Regions with the biggest increase in median price included:
- Bay of Plenty: up 44.6 percent from $650,000 in July last year to $940,000
- Canterbury: up 27.4 percent from $570,000 to $726,250
- Gisborne: up 26.9 percent from $417,500 to $530,000
The Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Northland and Southland also all had their highest median price for a July month.
Norwell said it was no surprise that prices for lifestyle blocks increased given the higher demand.