Working from home means more holidays

New Zealand’s real estate market is still soaring, with much attributed to the lack of housing supply and record-low interest rates. However, Century 21 owner Derryn Maybe, said working from home and holiday home management has made living in the Regions and buying a Bach more affordable.

With borders shut to all except Australia, domestic tourism has boosted the appeal of owning a Bach one can rent out. Sites like Bookabach, Bachcare, and Airbnb allow families a second mortgage, due to the reliable income holiday homes can attract.

Mayne also notes that going to a coastal, river, or lake property is now a viable option for holidaying, as either one or both parents can still work if Wi-Fi is available. Working from home during the pandemic has changed both employer and employees mindsets about office locations.

She said REINZ’s monthly statistics on median house price sales have been incredibly strong for regional New Zealand, driven partly by city dwellers seeking an easier lifestyle, adding to local demand.

Mayne said Century 21 is seeing people move from Auckland, Hamilton, and Wellington to places like Tuakau and Whanganui. Not because they have new jobs, but because they can keep their old ones.

Businesses have also adapted to greater use of outside consultants and contractors, meaning more Kiwi’s are shifting from office jobs to work from home, self-employed. Consulting and contracting was an end of career, or early parenthood move a decade or two ago. “Now, we’re seeing many more Kiwi’s working from home mid-career and mid-life.”

Mayne said greater flexibility around work has been a key contributor to the regions’ strong real estate resurgence. Simultaneously, casual rental income has “delivered the beach house dream to many more.” Overall, these changes have provided greater opportunities for many Kiwi’s, which is a plus.