Is New Zealand THE place to Buy Ski Property?
New Zealand, the adventure playground of the southern hemisphere has always attracted keen travellers looking to push their expeditions to the end of the world. At a 24-hour flight from London, the undertaking isn’t for the faint-hearted, and on arrival you are more likely to be confronted by a horde of sheep than any of the friendly locals we hear so much about. So why do we think this tiny-pocket of the world is the place to get your ski home? With the most stunning scenery (think Lord of the Rings), the worlds friendliest locals (not even the Canadians can compare) and some of the best skiing south of the equator (this is not a subjective quote) you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place to buy your dream ski pad, but there is another reason. In recent years, as the Times recently reported, the world’s richest citizens have been snapping up property in the mountains surrounding Queenstown and Christchurch. From film directors to Russian oil magnates, the shore of Lake Wanaka is slowly being filled up by the wealthiest people from across the globe and where the super-rich go, the rest of the world will follow.
A low-population, pristine environment, political stability, growing economy and relatively cheap land is attracting not only the super-wealthy, but also those looking outside the traditional resorts of the northern hemisphere for their ski property investment. Attracting over 500,000 individual visitors each winter (or 40% of total NZ tourism), the tourism market recently overtook the dairy industry as NZ’s greatest export.
Queenstown, NZ’s most famous resort town has grown exponentially in recent years. Sitting on the edge of Lake Wakatipu with direct access to 4 of the country’s biggest ski areas the city boasts over 220 individual adventure activities from skiing and boarding to bungee jumping and white-water rafting. Easily the most obvious choice for those looking to buy in NZ, they have a daily visitor rate of 57,000 individuals per day in peak months – not bad for a tiny mountain town with a population of less than 40,000. This daily rate is projected to increase by 20,000 per day in the next decade.
One of our favourites – if we win the lottery - is this huge Farm Ranch available through Christies, in reach of the local ski areas of Treble Cone.
If you don’t have a billionaire’s budget, how about this stunning apartment on the shore of Lake Wanaka. Architectually designed, with an indoor pool, spa, gym and sauna, these luxury apartments are just a 30 minute drive from the ski resorts of Cardrona and Treble Cone.
Although Queenstown is the jewel in New Zealand’s winter crown, the other ski areas are just as enticing. The Mt Ruapehu ski area in the North Island is the country’s largest and allows you to ski on the site of an active volcano. Open from late June through to November, you can ski in the mornings, and drive an hour away to the beaches of the Bay of Plenty and surf in the afternoon. Just 1.5 hours outside of the South Islands biggest city, Christchurch, is New Zealand’s premier heli-skiing destination Mt Hutt. Voted NZ’s best ski resort the past 2 years in a row, it is frequently used by professional skiers as it is considered the southern hemispheres best winter training ground.
As HNW individuals choose to purchase ski homes in New Zealand over the more traditional North American or European resorts, it might be time for the rest of us to follow suit. Rising property values have priced many people out of the market, and whilst the property values of NZ ski resorts are still some of the highest in the country, they pale in comparison to their European counterparts.
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