Wanaka supply nearing demand

Peninsula Bay. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Peninsula Bay, Wanaka. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Demand remains high in most of Wanaka's property sectors but supply is making some inroads, and the level of growth in value is expected to ease.

The estimated resident population is predicted to double from 12,300 in 2018 to 24,300 in 2048, across both Wanaka and Hawea, and numerous subdivision developments are under way or in the pipeline to support residential construction.

In Colliers International's latest market review and outlook for Wanaka, the "high demand, low-supply scenario", which had pushed the property market to historic highs in recent years, had balanced out.

"The market is now broadly in equilibrium, with the exception of some sectors where demand still outweighs supply, for example town centre retail property and entry level residential property," the report said.

Colliers said in the residential sector the population growth was continuing to support ongoing construction activity, centred around major subdivisions including Northlake, Alpine Estate, The Heights and Hikuwai.

"The upcoming release of a significant number of section titles could potentially cause some reduction in values, especially if large numbers of sections are on-sold," the report said.

Wanaka's growth meant more affordable housing was needed, while Lake Hawea and Luggate were continuing to gain popularity as more affordable alternatives to Wanaka.

Sections in Lake Hawea and Luggate were "selling fast".

In the rental market, there had been an easing in the long-term rental property shortage, although the availability of houses to rent "remains quite restricted", the report said.

The median weekly rental in Wanaka for a three-bedroom house was $580, Dunedin $495, central Christchurch $500 and central west Auckland $605.

While annual visitor nights around Wanaka are growing, up 2.2% to 950,527 for the year to March, visitor accommodation supply was not keeping pace.

However, private renting of homes and units online was helping fill the visitor accommodation shortage, which had reached a "critical point during peak periods".

While Wanaka still experiences low seasons with far fewer visitors, that was becoming less defined, with increased numbers of tourists visiting year-round, the report said.

In the commercial property sector, properties were "tightly held" by owners, demand was high and supply restricted, and there were few sales in central Wanaka.

Similarly, industrial property was in high demand with few vacancies, although there was property to develop soon which would help alleviate supply constraints.

Colliers noted commercial construction activity at the Three Parks subdivision was gathering momentum, including a supermarket and several warehouse and showroom developments, and there was a further 20 titled sites either under construction or yet to be developed.

"At Ballantyne Ridge, industrial titles are due around the middle of this year with construction expected to follow shortly thereafter," the report said.


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