Despite being on the other side of the world, it is estimated that there are around 265,000 Brits living in New Zealand. The country is slightly larger than the UK but has a population that is around 60 million less. This is part of the attraction, New Zealand is an unspoilt oasis, clean and unpolluted with a fantastic outdoor lifestyle.
New Zealand is also one of the most beautiful countries in the world with some outstanding beaches, mountain ranges, rainforests, countryside, flora and fauna.
The quality of life and cost of living are excellent too and if you add in the low crime rate, English language, friendly and welcoming people, Maori culture and strong British connection, it is easy to see the appeal.
Property prices in New Zealand are generally lower than Australia. However, the market has been very strong in recent years particularly around Auckland which has been consistently in the top-ten cities globally in terms of property price inflation in recent years. Whilst there is still momentum in the market, it is not without risk.
The North Island has a similar latitude to Spain in the northern hemisphere. It has a warm sub-tropical climate but given it is surrounded by ocean, it is also milder, windier and wetter though blessed with abundant sunshine. There is a great alfresco lifestyle with sport and sailing being very popular.
Auckland is the most popular place to buy property in New Zealand. It is a beautiful city nestled between two harbours with some stunning views over the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea. It is a cosmopolitan, vibrant city with a host of world class restaurants and bars.
Hamilton is about one hour’s drive south of Auckland and is benefiting from the strong property price inflation of Auckland. Prices are more affordable here and there are some very nice places along the Waikato.
The Bay of Islands, Coramandel and Waiheke Island are truly beautiful locations.
The capital city of Wellington, at the southern tip of North Island, is also very popular and more affordable compared to Auckland.
The South Island has a similar latitude as northern France but is milder, wetter and more temperate. It can get very cold in the more central mountainous areas over the winter. There are four very distinct seasons.
Nelson at the northern tip of South Island is the sunniest place in New Zealand with fantastic beaches, national parks and an admired wine producing region.
Christchurch has a strong British community and is starting to recover after the earthquake in 2011. Again, this is another beautiful garden city with easy access to the rest of Canterbury and Otago.
Queenstown is simply stunning and a magnet for extreme sports and winter sports enthusiasts. This is a fashionable area at present and more affordable options exist in the charming towns nearby such as Arrowtown, Cromwell, Alexandra and Wanaka.
If you like a Scottish influence, the coastal towns of Dunedin and Invercargill in the south are popular and affordable.