Rural Marlborough now holds as much lifestyle appeal as the more traditionally sought after Sounds and Wairau Valley.
OPINION: In the remarkable era we are currently progressing through, the rest of the world regards New Zealand as an oasis, largely or relatively secure from the threats prevailing elsewhere.
Over the past 12 months, many people reacted to the pandemic by re-assessing, and activating long-held dreams.
Increasingly, those dreams focus on the rural idyll and are realised in lifestyle property.
Within our small safe nation, the drive for a home that offers peace, tranquillity, a haven from the world, and the scope to explore and realise personal ambitions has never been stronger.
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In the face of uncertainty, many seek comfort, a rural aspect and a bolthole. Demand is strong, aided by low interest rates. As a consequence, demand for lifestyle property is at an all-time high.
Nationwide, in the year to February 2021, 27.5 per cent more lifestyle properties sold than in the year to February 2020.
During the three months to February 2021 the median price for all lifestyle properties sold was $845,000, a $135,000 rise on the same period during 2020, representing a 19 per cent increase in values in 12 months.
Marlborough lifestyle property is caught up in this vortex of enthusiasm and ours is one of the most highly sought after lifestyle regions.
Out-of-town buyers looking to move here are drawn by our well-documented lifestyle virtues. Many of these new arrivals are cash buyers, prepared to make unconditional offers. They are looking at every part of the province, including Seddon and Ward, which now hold as much lifestyle appeal as the more traditionally sought after Sounds and Wairau Valley.
Whether the lifestyle sector nationwide continues to perform at such elevated levels, with more properties selling for higher values, is open to debate. In our region however, the shortage of listings is becoming more acute, which makes it predominantly a seller’s market.
Offering lifestyle property by deadline sale is achieving exceptional values as purchasers from out of the region chase Marlborough’s lifestyle dream, and are eager to commit after having their hopes thwarted elsewhere.
In such heightened conditions it is more important than ever to seek out trusted help and guidance. For peace of mind, lifestyle property buyers are well advised to deal with specialists who understand rural life and what the country is all about, whether that be the intricacies of access to water, GST, building permits or easements.
What is evident is that the conditions that feed the demand for lifestyle property are not likely to change: people will continue to seek out the views, space, fresh air, recreational opportunities and friendly communities that country living offers.
Marlborough will continue to feature as one of the highest ranked regions by criteria measuring the lifestyle dream. Our region’s appeal burns bright, and promises to burn ever brighter.
Joe Blakiston is the sales manager for PGG Wrightson Real Estate in Marlborough.