Housing in New Zealand

Having a place to call home is a big part of feeling settled in a new country, and it can take time to find the one that’s right for you and your family.

Even if you plan to buy eventually, it is best to start off by renting. That way you can take time seeing what is available and where you would like to live before you make a commitment.

Housing in New Zealand is as varied as our people. Whether you are looking for an outdoor lifestyle, a place in the heart of the city or a family home with room for the kids to run around in, you will find it here. Your options include suburban homes, rural living and lifestyle blocks, apartments, flats and townhouses.

Choosing somewhere to live in New Zealand

Aerial view of houses on a typical New Zealand street

New Zealand homes are generally built to make the most of the light and the outdoors. We prize an ‘indoor-outdoor flow’ because it is ideal for barbecues and summer living.

Historically we have built standalone houses, made with a timber frame and either timber or brick veneer cladding, but as cities become more populated, apartments and multiple unit houses have become more popular.

New Zealand housing standards and how it compares
New Zealand housing standards and how it compares (02:15)

If you compare the price to you know a house in Beijing,
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the housing prices are really up there.
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But in here we get a 700 squaremetre land,
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big garden, standalone house.
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It's just not something you can get easily in China
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We were quite surprised that at the high cost of living here
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either to purchase or rent is quite a lot more than we're used to.
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I guess I didn't realise just how much accommodation would cost.
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When I got here so I looked
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at twelve different accommodations before I made my decision.
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The wellington housing market is quite busy
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and particularly at certain times of year,
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it can take a little bit of time,
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so it helped that we had some ideas of
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specific areas of town that we would like to live in.
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The location was really
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important to us when we were looking to buy a house
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because we could have spent
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you know the same amount of money and gotten a bigger house further out of
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town and we made a conscious decision that location was important.
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When I was looking at housing
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I did find that one of the differences is just how cold a
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lot of the houses are so I made sure when I bought a house I bought a house
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that was gonna have proper insulation.
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There's a different mentality about a
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warm houses,
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people are used to putting on layers during winter in the house.
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Whereas people in Europe are usually just heating the house with a better insulation.
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Generally, the houses don't have central heating or a double glazing things
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things like that but again if you go with open eyes
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you know I take expectation and be too much of a shock to the system.
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The house is a California bungalow so it's a nice timber-framed
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older style house and it's in a lovely big section which means that we've got a
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great space for the kids to go run around in
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which we never would have had in the UK.
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We bought here,
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we plan to stay here,
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it's the countryside,
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it's the nature,
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it's just fantastic
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I love it
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I have a really nice piece of land it's about 1,500 square meters
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We have that feeling that when we finish work,
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we just go back home and
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it's like a holiday

In this section:

  • Choosing somewhere to live

    Know what to look for in a home, especially in terms of heating and location.

  • Renting

    Find out about rents and other costs and where to start looking.

  • Buying or building

    Understand whether you are eligible and the processes and costs involved, and find out where to start looking. ​

  • Maintaining your property

    Know what you need to do around your home and who can do what.

  • Utilities

    Check out your options for power, water and the practical side of running a house day-to-day.

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Page last updated: 22/06/2020

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