I spent lockdown thinking about a world where Wanaka property prices would be dropping. The Queenstown agents spent the initial weeks post lockdown preparing clients for the reality of this. In Wanaka we didn’t see any lack in positivity about the product and the buyers came.

The ski season arrived and so too did the buyers. Even those who arrived here not intending to leave as property owners or buyers jumped on the “me too” bandwagon and grabbed their slice of paradise.

A few families and individuals made it hastily to Wanaka pre lockdown and decided not to leave. They have now started new lives in Wanaka. – including having purchased a home.

There’s another new population here too – a few who can’t head away on their OE turned up for the ski season and families who had been living an expat lifestyle have now returned to live and work in New Zealand, choosing to put down their roots in Wanaka.

Many people have discovered that now they don’t need to be in the office to have a job and are able to work remotely. There are certainly these people represented significantly in Wanaka now.

Interest rates are of course significant drivers of the prices that are being paid for property at the moment. It will be interesting to see what the government will do to try and control things. It is looking like the Reserve Bank is keen to see this as only a component of the economic picture and not intervene too much.

Supply and demand has a massive effect on property prices – a buyer that has missed once or twice is not going to miss out again and will buy at whatever price it takes.

Some buyers just do not wish to repeat their lockdown in the city, especially when there is more risk of this being repeated in some locations more so than others.

Lifestyle blocks throughout New Zealand have leapt in value. After spending ours on a hectare within a farm setting I don’t blame anyone for thinking that this is a superb option. We were self sufficient for fruit, eggs and vegetables and never short of something to do.

The state of the Auckland property market also has a significant effect on Wanaka property prices. Things are incredibly buoyant in all parts of New Zealand at the moment, particularly in Auckland. There is a big flow on affect.

I am predicting that the minute that Australian buyers get a sniff of the travel bubble opening they will have the same impact on our Wanaka property prices as the North Islanders have since early July. Professional Melbournians and Sydneysiders already had Wanaka and Queenstown firmly on their radar as a lifestyle destination with many who have already planned for a trans-Tasman semi-retirement lifestyle.

For many Covid just brought forward their plans to move south but for some the change of lifestyle came from a lockdown priority check. The net result has been a hike in prices to date in NZ including Wanaka and there doesn’t look to be any let up in the near future despite economic predictions for early 2021.