Last month the Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, announced an easier path to citizenship for Kiwis. This has been a long awaited and now celebrated change. Prior to the 2000’s Kiwi’s crossed the ditch and settled with relative ease in Australia. That was until, in the Aussies’ eyes, we started to take advantage of that ease. It was the sun drenched country in which we could access government services such as the unemployment benefit, with little to no contribution to the economy prior. Another sticking point for our cousins was the ‘back door’ access we unwittingly provided to migrants who, put simply, served their minimum sentence in NZ and then cashed in their citizenship for residency in Australia. Hello the lucky country! And so it went on. That was, until Johnny Howard pulled the rug from under us, essentially making us second class citizens.
Where the bloody hell are ya?
Since the announcement was made it has been near impossible to avoid the barrage of social commentary on wage comparison. Across all industries it would appear the NZ workforce is receiving significantly less for the same work. A recent recruitment drive for police officers in Australia’s Northern Territory was offering a starting salary of 120 thousand Australian dollars for a twelve-month minimum commitment. Compare that with the 69 thousand dollar salary offered in New Zealand and it’s a no brainer. Like New Zealand, Australia is failing to fill a lot of jobs at the lower end of the economy. So, what to do? Our geographic proximity, similar cultures, language, common law and passion for sport make us a good fit. And as far as luring immigrants goes, New Zealanders are prepared to up sticks and give Aussie a crack with little thought.
Rolling out the welcome mat
While it would appear the deck is stacked against us, we might be able to find a few wins in this. Yes, New Zealand is likely to be seen as the back door to Australia once again. But immigrants will still be required to commit to obtaining citizenship in NZ, a five year process which will introduce five years’ worth of critical skills, income and contribution to this county. And who knows? They may just like living here as much as we do, put down roots and decide that there is no need to leave after all.
So, what does this have to do with property?
Migration is a key factor in property growth on two fronts, rental demand and home ownership. The issue around accommodation is one that hasn’t been solved, a classic New Zealand boom or bust construction cycle has just played out on the back of the Covid overspend. Already the immigration numbers have us with a net gain of 30,000 for the last twelve months. That is equivalent to a new Blenheim worth of people in just one year! Our new residents are going to need somewhere to live. The goal for most will be a new home as New Zealand has a relatively simple system for the purchase of real estate and no capital gains on the family home.
We lost the battle but maybe we can win the war
On the face of it, this was a smart move from the Australian government. Better incomes, better weather, and a more robust economy. Yes they will have considered the back door migration problems, but right now they need workers that are educated, speak the language and need little assimilation. If we as a country live up to our potential, we can one retain our best and brightest, and offer a permanent home to those who may have seen New Zealand as a stepping stone for something which they once perceived as a better option.
The Wellington market
The optimist in me says we have a couple of months up our sleeve before we head back into summer so we need to start preparing for the spring market. The start of 2023 has been an interesting one with an unexpected slide off what we had anticipated was our bottom to land at our current reality. But, and I say this with slight anticipation, I feel like we might just have turned a corner.
What I know for sure is we are no longer in a buyers’ market. How do I know this? We are receiving multiple offers on the majority of our stock and just last week closed a deadline for a first home in Johnsonville with 21 offers submitted on the date! Anecdotally, more than a few buyers have mentioned increased numbers out at open homes with a few commenting they feel like they have missed the best time to buy. Activity doesn’t necessarily translate to price rises but it does mean, educated buyers who have been in the market and offering but missing out, will submit their maximum offers if they want to secure a home. Not until we see a drop in interest rates will we see prices start to lift.
For those who are thinking about selling, your best result in the market comes from the ability to create competition and a transparent process. Our success with Auction campaigns in 2023 is 100%, a proven strategy in an unpredictable market. If you would like to chat about how Auctions can work for you do not hesitate to check out our latest Auction video below and do not hesitate to call.
Please feel free to call and chat to us if you want to hear how auction can work for your property in the current market.
Wellington Market Quick Stats
What’s on this May in Wellington?
Visa Wellington On a Plate – Various Locations, 5th – 21st May 2023
Visa Wellington On a Plate has been serving delicious delights for 15 years, and for the first time in 2023, they’re dishing it up in two courses across the year.
The festival’s first edition will kick off in May with a curated programme of unmissable festival events, unique pop-up restaurants, chef collaborations from near and far, delectable dishes, and crazy cocktails. This year’s extensive programme has a range of options to suit all budgets, palates, and appetites
New Zealand International Comedy Festival – Various Locations, 5th – 18th May 2023
The New Zealand International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo is back. Celebrating 30 years of the festival in 2023, get ready for three weeks of belly laughs and incredible live comedy this May.
Chris Parker – Lots of Love, Opera House, 27th May 2023
After stints on television’s “Taskmaster”, getting hitched in a movie theatre, and releasing a book, Here for a Good Time, funny man Chris Parker is taking his jokes on the road again with his brand new show Lots of Love.