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Why now may be a great time to get that holiday home you've always dreamed about  


More millionaires were created during the Great Depression than any other single five-year period in history.

Times of economic uncertainty are also times of opportunity. That’s why, when real estate agents start describing the market for baches and cribs as “a disaster”, it may be the perfect time to get into a dream holiday home of your own.

Double-digit declines have been recorded in the prices of baches in 16 out of 23 popular North Island beach areas, according to the New Zealand Herald Property Report which came out just this week.

But wait a minute. Those price drops have taken place since the peaks of 2007-2008, after the property boom of the early to mid noughties had created a massive bubble. If you’ve owned your holiday home for ten years or more, or bought near the beginning of the boom, it is probably still worth more than you paid for it. Ergo, the market is only a disaster if you bought near the peak or you’re a real estate agent.

The comment by real estate agents that “It's never been cheaper to buy a slice of coastal paradise” show how short people’s memories are, or how desperate they are to make sales. Everything is relative. But there’s no question that there are some bargains to be had if you’re in the market for a holiday home at the moment.

The Property Report looked at beach areas from Paihia in the north to Raglan in the south-west and Ohope in the south-east. Just three of the 23 areas – Orewa, Red Beach and Oneroa, which are essentially suburbs of Auckland now that the northern motorway has been extended in the case of the first two areas and the fast ferry puts the last area just 30 minutes away from the CBD – saw price increases since 2008.

In beach areas such as Pukehina, which has always been a poor man’s Mt Maunganui, prices have plummeted nearly thirty per cent. Paihia in the Bay of Islands has been close behind at 26%, but the average value of $417,778 is still higher than some main urban areas of New Zealand.  

" There have been a lot of people holding off waiting for the bottom of the market,” said Neil Christie of Richardsons Real Estate in Pauanui, quoted in an article in Stuff . “We largely believe we're at the bottom now. "



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