Most popular locations
Spread over two islands New Zealand is a similar size to that of the UK, except that there are far fewer people. Compared to the 70million found in the UK New Zealand is home to only 4 million people, so there is plenty of open space. The most popular locations to live on the North Island are the big cities of Auckland and the capital Wellington. On the South island Queenstown is a very popular location. There is plenty of open countryside for the more adventurous types but it is advised you research these areas fully before looking for a property.
If you are immigrating to New Zealand then there is a good chance that you will be seeking a permanent residence visa. Buying a property is relatively straightforward and is similar to the process found in the UK. Once you find a property to your liking, put in an offer in writing. The offer will be subject to checks on mortgage offers, surveys and checks. Once accepted you will have to pay a 10% deposit. When all aspects have been agreed upon then a contract will be signed between you and the seller. Once a contract has been signed the deal becomes legally binding, meaning neither party can pull out of the deal.
Cost of living
The expensive cost of living is one of the main reasons people choose to leave the UK for pastures new. In New Zealand you will get more for your money. If you spend the same amount on a house in New Zealand than you would in the South of England you can expect to get a far bigger property, maybe even a pool.
Research your chosen area
It goes without saying that the more information you have the better off you will be. Like in any country the housing market can vary. To get the best deal you should enlist the assistance of a New Zealand based estate agent or solicitor. Crime is not a huge issue in New Zealand but just like anywhere else certain places can be more risky than others. Never move anywhere without checking it out first.
Annual New Zealand House Price Changes 2011-2012
Below is the average house prices and there changes over the past year.
Northland $305,000 (down 3.2 %)
Auckland Region $471,000 (up 4.7 %)
Waikato / Bay of Plenty / Gisborne $305,000 (down 3.2 %)
Hawkes Bay $275,000 (up 1.7 %)
Manawatu / Wanganui $235,000 (up 3.3 %)
Taranaki $304,000 (up 11.4 %)
Wellington Region $385,000 (up 4.1 %)
Nelson / Marlborough $325,000 (up 2.0 %)
Canterbury / Westland $325,000 (up 8.3 %)
Central Otago Lakes $435,000 (up 8.1 %)
Otago $226,000 (up 9.7 %)
Southland $190,000 (up 5.1 %)
New Zealand $355,000 (up 4.4 %)