Showhomes & Tools

Where to Buy?

Where to Buy?

When it comes to deciding where you should buy, a number of factors become important. Consider your lifestyle to ensure your new location fits your needs and wants. Factors such as the neighbourhood, community culture, access to schools and facilities, along with current and future infrastructure all need to be considered in relation to the property.

First Steps

When deciding where to buy, first:

  • Make a wish list and include what is important to you and your family
  • Drive around the area during the day and night to get a feel for it and see what community activities take place nearby i.e. parks with Saturday sports will affect traffic in your area and also noise
  • Get an aerial view of the neighborhood using Google Street View.


Community Culture

Choosing a neighbourhood with the right community and culture for you and your family can be just as important as finding the right house or section. Some general characteristics to consider are:

  • Who lives there?
  • What are house prices?
  • Where are the best schools?
  • What are commute times?
  • Which areas have the lowest crime rates?
  • What shopping, restaurant and other lifestyle conveniences are present?

Research the neighborhood

Download a demographic profile of the area

If you want to take a more analytical approach to choosing your location, download a free Demographic Profile from Quotable New Zealand that will provide a profile of your neighbourhood against your suburb, city/region and national averages using socio-economic census data. The report includes information on age, ethnicity, housing ownership, years in residence, income, employment and occupation.

Council resources

All councils offer demographic and statistical information on their region. You can find links to council boundary maps and each individual council.

The Quality of Life Project

This was established in 1999 to provide social, economic and environmental indicators of Quality of Life in New Zealand. It started as 6 largest cities but has now expanded to include 56% of the total population of NZ.  Areas included are: Rodney, Tauranga, North Shore, Porirua, Waitakere, Hutt, Auckland, Wellington, Manukau, Christchurch, Hamilton and Dunedin.  Visit the Quality of Life Project to learn more.

Community Report Search

Zoodle can give you a suburb summary and market insight for any suburb in New Zealand.


The proximity of your location to schools and other amenities can play an important factor in your decision.


Check the local school zoning before you move in. Your proximity to a good local school can impact your family and the potential value of your investment. Zoning can vary by street; check out for confirmation.

You can also obtain a copy of the latest Education Review Office Report from the Education Review Office.

Local Amenities

Access to local amenities is important especially to those with young families. Check out your local amenities by visiting your local council website. Look for local amenities such as shops, dining and entertainment, parks and beaches, sports and leisure facilities, and hospitals. Local amenities can be attractive while you are living in the area and when you go to sell your investment.


Look at future infrastructure that will be undertaken over the next 10 years in your area. Are there signs of new construction in the area? Any new motorways or arterials? Any planned infrastructure developments? Any changes to the current zoning and permitted activities? Infrastructure can add value to your home if it has a positive impact, or it can do the opposite.

If there is any planned infrastructure, new or upgrades, you will find details of this in your local councils Annual Plan.

Public Transportation

Local transport options in particular can compromise or benefit your lifestyle, and your investment. If you live near a hub of public transport this can make your home more attractive to potential buyers or residents. Check out your route to work and the public transport options available. Your local council or information centre will be able to advise you on what public transport options there are in your area. Ensure that you are making educated decisions about your location by visiting the Transit New Zealand website.

Transport Information for Main Centres

Auckland: The MAXX website has information on getting around the Auckland region either by buses, trains or ferries. Use the Journey Planner to learn the available routes in the area of your prospective home.

Wellington: METLINK’s website has information on getting around Wellington, Kapiti Coast, Porirua, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa. Use the Journey Planner to learn the available routes in the area of your prospective home.

Christchurch: METROINFO has information on getting around the Christchurch and Timaru regions. Use the Journey Planner to learn the available routes in the area of your prospective home.

Real Estate Trends

Historical data

Considering the pattern of capital growth over the last 10-20 years can help you to realise strong long-term capital growth whilst keeping the investment property within budgetary requirements. By choosing a good location your real estate investment will have better protection over the long term, and will be more likely to increase in capital value.

Look at real estate trends

The Real Estate Institute offers statistical information and market trend information such as the following:

  • Market Trends: In this section you can view information about the trends in the real estate market, plus find details of associated publications which you can purchase.
  • Market Facts Graphs: These graphs allow you to compare sales figures over a period of years from 1992 up to last month.
  • Residential Housing Facts: This is a monthly publication containing sales figures for all sales reported to the Real Estate Institute. It is available in either hard copy or via email as a PDF file. An annual subscription costs $150 incl GST (posted within New Zealand) for the hard copy or PDF version. Single issues cost $12.50 incl GST.
  • Residential Rent Review: This is a monthly publication of rental prices for selected areas around New Zealand. Rental prices are based on figures sourced from the Department of Building and Housing. Available in hard copy or as a PDF file. An annual subscription costs $85 incl GST.
  • Massey University Property Surveys: These are freely available research surveys relating to the New Zealand property market from Massey University.
  • AMP Home Affordability Reports: These are quarterly reports compiled with statistics from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, the Reserve Bank and Statistics New Zealand.

View more guides

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