Demand for Canterbury lifestyle property has soared during the first half of 2021, according to Colliers’ rural lifestyle specialists.
Defined as a home on rural land outside the town boundary, lifestyle property has followed the same general trajectory as the residential market with values rising rapidly throughout the past year, driven by strong demand and low supply.
The median sale price for lifestyle property in Canterbury has increased by 12 per cent over the 12 months to May 2021, with values reaching an average sale price of $589,262, according to research by Colliers.
Richard Innes, Colliers lifestyle expert says the increased demand is largely coming from outside the region.
“While lifestyle property has always been highly sought-after in the Canterbury market, we’re seeing a huge increase in enquiry from outside of the region as people look to make major lifestyle changes off the back of Covid-19.
“Covid has acted as a catalyst for change with many people taking the opportunity to reassess their circumstances and more carefully consider their home environments.
“Bordered by a stunning coastline on one side and an impressive mountain range on the other, the Canterbury region has a lot to offer people looking for a lifestyle property, with the added benefit of exceptional value for money compared to other main centres.”
Fellow Colliers lifestyle expert Jeremy Gould adds that the shift to remote working has also contributed to increased demand for lifestyle options, in some cases well beyond their areas of work.
“Widespread adoption of remote working has allowed more flexibility in housing decisions as many people are no longer required to commute to offices every day.
“We have buyers that are able to work just one or two days per week or per month at offices in Auckland or Wellington, which is an easy commute from Christchurch airport, and allows them to have ‘the best of both worlds’", says Gould.
Colliers’ Mick Sidey says that buyers from outside the region have also strengthened values at the top end of the market as people ‘cash out’ of main centres where property values are at record highs.
One example is the recent sale of a lifestyle block in West Melton. Comprising a four-bedroom home on over 10 hectares of land, the property attracted strong interest, and a number of offers, from across New Zealand and offshore.
Sidey says the buyer came from Auckland and is one of several active buyers from the North Island who are looking for opportunities in the West Melton area, which is popular for its access to the city and airport.
Alex Cooney, rural sales broker at Colliers notes that ex-pats returning home are also contributing to increased demand and rising prices.
“New Zealanders returning from overseas who often have large budgets from property sales in larger, international cities or held higher salaries overseas, see the Canterbury region as offering a huge amount of value for the price.
“For families, the quality of education in the Canterbury area is another major drawcard. There is a high number of well-regarded private secondary schools, as well as two world-class universities and ARA, the largest vocational training institute in the South Island, all being within 30 minutes’ drive from most lifestyle areas.”