Nelson’s climate and outdoor recreation make it perfect for lifestyle property
March 2023

Nelson’s climate and outdoor recreation make it perfect for lifestyle property

Blue sky and sunshine, easy access to the great outdoors, and a relaxed pace combine to make Nelson one of the country’s most sought after lifestyle property locations.

Originally from Auckland, via Canterbury, and living in the province since 2008, Doug Smith of PGG Wrightson Real Estate, Nelson is proof positive of the region’s benefits.

“My partner grew up here so she was keen to come back, and I was keen to live here for the outdoor lifestyle that the province offers, along with the sunny climate.

“Winter here is a non-event compared to other regions. While Nelson winters can be crisp, I have never had to wear a poly-prop top here, whereas in Canterbury it is a standard item of your winter attire. We have great beaches, tramping, hunting and mountain biking, not to mention excellent restaurants and cafes.

“In terms of amenities, we have all you need; alongside a relaxed approach: people tend not to lock their doors, especially in country areas. It’s an easy lifestyle, definitely more laid back than the city,” says Doug.

NEL36798 Lifestyle Collection blog 2023 Doug

Like other regions, the Nelson lifestyle property market has eased since mid 2022, with a buyers’ market emerging. For Tasman the January 2023 median sale price was $775,000, compared to $889,000 in January 2022. Days to sell has gone to 60, from the region’s 10 year average of 42 days. In the three months to October 2022, the median price for all lifestyle property sold was $1.015 million. 

Doug and his colleagues routinely sell lifestyle properties to people moving into the province. Steve and Dawn Fertich, along with their 17, 14 and nine-year-old sons, relocated from Ohope, near Whakatane, to an 18 hectare Moutere property in March 2021, as Dawn explains.

“Moving to Nelson fulfilled our dream. We love the outdoors and here we have everything on the doorstep. Before we moved we had a limited number of walks, bike rides, beaches and hikes. Here we could spend years doing the equivalent activities and never repeat something. 

“As our boys grow, there are many more work opportunities for them here. Previously we anticipated they would move further away to find work, now we have the chance to keep the family close. Our eldest son plans to take up an electrical apprenticeship, which is straightforward locally, though if we were still in Ohope, he would have had to move away to start his career.

“We love it, and we wouldn’t move from here. Nelson has so much to offer, and everything we could hope for. It has so many schools, and all the kids are lovely. It is a real friendly place, and the boys have all made great mates since we’ve been here,” she says.
Meanwhile John and Megan Moffat, previously living in Eastbourne, Wellington, recently purchased a four bedroom villa on an 18 hectare Upper Moutere property.

“We lived in Wellington for 20 years. I work for myself, and Megan works in the public service. Neither of us is tied to a particular location, and we are both used to working from home. After our children moved out, we no longer needed a big five bedroom house on a hillside and having frequently visited family here, were keen to look into the Nelson region. 

“We wanted some land, within 20 minutes of Motueka and Mapua. We wanted privacy, one storey, and we wanted to be on the flat. We are both handy in terms of renovating, and wanted a project we could put our own stamp on” he says. 
John reckons owning property in the country carries an obligation.

“When you have rural land, you have to do something productive with it. The plan for now is to  buy some stock to keep the grass at bay, and we are thinking about a breeding herd,” he says.

As well as boasting high sunshine hours, Nelson offers the shortest average commuting times for New Zealand urban centres; rental costs at the lower end of the scale compared with elsewhere; and as New Zealand’s geographical centre, flights of 25 minutes to Wellington, 85 minutes to Auckland and 50 minutes to Christchurch.

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