An article in the Wanganui Chronicle cites real estates saying that foreigners are taking a growing interest in NZ property. There are compelling reasons for taking an interest in NZ....though also some negatives. The positives are:
1. Economic reform - there are some efforts to improve the administration of the economy. i.e. some cost cutting. Some streamlining, like reforms to the Building Code.
2. Local government elections - locally this can be an important issue for expanding population, or retaining people. For instance, Wanganui is one city which would benefit from a turnaround in population. It is a full-service town losing people to the major cities and abroad, unless the new govt can create jobs. It has a better chance than most towns. Elections are being held in Oct-2010.
3. Commodity prices - NZ is a major producer of commodities, and thus it is a pretty hard currency in an era when China and India have an insatiable demand for them. This will tend to support the currency...as long as consumption is controlled, or interest rates are raised to curtail a blow-out in spending.
4. Rural areas offer lifestyle values, but also significant improvements in services. The depth of entertainment in Wanganui is restrictive, but there are a great many good cafes, a full range of good restaurants, e.g. Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Thai, Greek, Turkish, Italian, and of course 'meat and potatoes' NZ cosine.
There are however negatives:
1. Population stagnant: The reality is that in recession a lot of NZ'ers are going to Australia in search of jobs, and increasing integration has limited capacity to create 'manufacturing jobs. NZ does however have the ability to export services to Australia, so few NZ'ers need to move to Australia. There is already a 30% wage differential between the countries, so NZ has a growing competitive advantage. At some point this will prove a strong advantage to NZ.
2. Nothing else comes to mind. There is more..there n
The implications for NZ are clear. At some point it will do very well. We might even see a lot of expatriates return. These rural towns will attract more people. People will find value in the rural acreage as lifestyle blocks and subdivisions; however there is also value in cities like Wanganui. I need only compare the prices in cities like New Plymouth and Stratford to Wanganui. Wanganui is cheap because of depopulation. The time will come when it will start to grow its population. The city has a large 'service catchment', it is well-situated between Auckland and Wellington, it is a weekender from Wellington, it has a lot of resource upside from oil & gas and iron ore, as well as agriculture. It is one of the more appealing towns in NZ. It has an 'undeserved' reputation for gangs. I've lived here 2 years and saw the first person who even resembled a gang member last week.
The town is lovely, the people are friendly, and the beach is ok. The city has the nicest gardens. I kind of wish you don't come because I might have to compete for the use of the park services. It is a windy place, but that makes it 'fresh' for a breezy walk around town. I'm only complaining because I'm from Australia, and I still like it.
Other great value I feel is a place like Port Stephens to Taree in NSW, Australia, and maybe Tasmania if you don't mind being isolated from mainland Australia.