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Thinking about investing in property? You might wonder: “Where is the best place to invest in New Zealand right now?”

Currently, the top areas include Auckland, for its robust economic growth; Christchurch, known for its redevelopment projects; Wellington, with its stable rental market; Queenstown, popular for tourism; and Hamilton, due to its strong agricultural base.

After all, picking the right city to invest in is just as important (if not more) than picking the right property.

Here at Opes Partners we help over 450 investors find New Build properties every year. These properties come from all over the country, so we’re constantly looking for the best places to invest.

In this article, you'll learn the top 5 places to invest in the country and the reasons why we’ve picked them.

#1 Auckland

The country’s largest and most expensive city is the top of our list.

Yes, house prices are expensive and the yields can be low compared to the rest of the country.

But historically, house prices have increased faster than the rest of the country as a whole. Since 1992, Auckland house prices have increased 7.1% a year on average. The rest of the country only increased 6.2% on average (Oct. 23, REINZ).

Auckland property prices appear to be 9.24% undervalued (Oct. 23, REINZ). This means they are less expensive than we would expect them to be.

And that means in the medium term we believe they’ll increase in value faster than the rest of the country. This presents a buying opportunity.

The other reason to invest in Auckland is that the population is growing very quickly.

Stats NZ forecasts that Auckland’s population will grow by 421,600 forecast over the next 25 years.

That’s the like everyone in Christchurch packing their bags and moving to Auckland.

All these people will need a place to live, increasing demand for housing. This will put pressure on house prices and rents.

#2 Christchurch

Next up is Christchurch. It’s the largest city in the South Island.

Christchurch properties are more affordable than many other places in the country. The average price is about $741,000 (Oct’ 23. CoreLogic).

That is about $168,000 less than the average price for the country as a whole.

Christchurch is also currently undervalued. Prices there are 9.6% lower than we would expect them to be.

One of the main factors that drives house prices is access to new infrastructure. The city is still recovering, despite the fact the earthquakes were over a decade ago. So the council is still investing in infrastructure and the rebuild is still on.

The new Canterbury stadium, Te Kaha, is due to be completed by April 2026.

And the Parakiore Recreation and Sports Centre will be finished by 2025. Once opened it will be the largest indoor recreation centre in NZ.

Te Pae, the new convention centre, has now opened and is attracting more people to the city.

#3 Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts

The neighbouring districts to Christchurch also make the list. Their populations are booming.

Selwyn and Waimakariri districts are home to towns like Rolleston and Kaiapoi.

Stats NZ expects Selwyn’s population will increase by another 47% over the next 25 years (2023 – 2048). Waimakariri’s population is expected to grow 25% over the same timeframe.

One factor investors look at when choosing an area is whether big box retailers are moving in; businesses like Countdown or The Warehouse.

These big businesses do more research than any of us on our own could do. So if they’re moving into an area, it’s a good sign the region could grow.

We understand Costco is planning to open a store in Rolleston.

Costoc 001

And the Carter Group is planning to build The Station, a new 18-hectare shopping development.

The Station Rolleston

Both Selwyn and Waimakariri appear to be undervalued. Prices there are 4.5% and 7.7% lower than we’d expect them to be, respectively.

One of the benefits of buying in these areas is that it’s still possible to buy a standalone house with a decent yield.

In larger cities standalone houses are usually too expensive to be a good investment.

More from Opes Partners:

#4 Lower Hutt

Next on the list is Lower Hutt.

The Wellington region is an interesting one. For the last few years I advised investors against buying in the Wellington region. Property prices were so overheated, and in my view had a long way to fall.

That happened; Lower Hutt property prices fell 30% compared to their peak.


So now Lower Hutt prices are much more in line with where I’d expect them to be. They were about 16% overvalued; now they’re about 1% undervalued. So, Lower Hutt presents more of a buying opportunity than it used too.

On top of that, property prices are still cheaper than in Auckland, and rental yields tend to be good in the area.

More from Opes Partners:

#5 Queenstown

Last on our list is Queenstown. Historically, this has been a funny area for investors.

That’s because Queenstown properties are expensive. The average property value is almost $1.7 million (Oct ’23, CoreLogic).

But Queenstown still makes the list because prices have the potential to grow.

It’s an aspiration area and tends to attract wealthy people who want to live or holiday there. This keeps the demand for properties and rental high.

So, if you get the right-priced property, it can work as an investment.

But be careful about people telling you Airbnb will solve all your problems. It’s not as easy as people make it out to be.

Not everyone can Airbnb in Queenstown. There are rules around it, plus there are extra costs like commercial rates and commercial insurance.

Why have you primarily picked larger areas?

Between 2015 – 2020 property prices in regional New Zealand boomed. At the same time prices in some of the main centres stayed flat.

For instance, prices in Gisborne almost tripled from the end of 2016 to the peak in 2021. That stellar growth won’t continue forever.

The regions have had their boom, and it looks like the next 5 years will see prices increase in the larger cities.

This will be primarily driven by high net migration. In the 12 months to September 2023, over 110,000 more people moved to New Zealand compared to those who left.

These people tend to move to the larger cities, which increases property demand.

You might ask, “What about [insert your area here]?” If we haven’t mentioned an area on this list, we genuinely don’t believe it’s the best area right now.

If you want to dig into more of the data, here is a full comparison of every council area in New Zealand:

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Ed McKnight

Our Resident Economist, with a GradDipEcon and over five years at Opes Partners, is a trusted contributor to NZ Property Investor, Informed Investor, Stuff, Business Desk, and OneRoof.

Ed, our Resident Economist, is equipped with a GradDipEcon, a GradCertStratMgmt, BMus, and over five years of experience as Opes Partners' economist. His expertise in economics has led him to contribute articles to reputable publications like NZ Property Investor, Informed Investor, OneRoof, Stuff, and Business Desk. You might have also seen him share his insights on television programs such as The Project and Breakfast.

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