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What does $1,000,000 buy you in the major NZ cities?

Date Published: 13 August 2020

With Covid-19 lockdowns, working from home has become the new norm. It’s highly probable that buyers who were previously looking to purchase in the larger cities will now be looking elsewhere. If you can work remotely, why not get more home for your money?

For fun, we looked at TradeMe to see what a million dollars buys you in August 2020.  The difference between the cities is… vast.

Auckland

It will come as little surprise to you that a million dollars doesn’t buy you a whole lot.  For our largest city, you can get this 150sqm, 3 bedroom home in Blockhouse Bay.  The section is quite large at 880sqm but the state of the house points to the building representing a very small part of the million dollar valuation.


Tauranga

You get a little more bang for your million bucks in Tauranga.  The section is a little smaller at 432sqm, the house is in a significantly better state.  It has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and is situated right in the very desirable Mount Maunganui area.


Wellington

Although about the same floor size (147sqm), a million dollars gets you a bit more than the Tauranga property.  This house has 5 bedrooms and is on a much larger 822sqm of land.  It also has what Wellington excels at… views.


Christchurch

As we move further down the country, a million dollars takes on a whole new meaning.  Scroll up, look at that Auckland house again.  Now realise that the same amount of money buys you an 1,158sqm section and this mansion.  Floor size is 380sqm with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and enough room to swing several cats.
(Additional note, Mortgage Lab does not condone cat swinging).

There is also enough room for your 5 cars and while the ad states the house is need of modernising, the photos show the property at quite a reasonable stage if you have recently looked at the Auckland property.


Dunedin

To the surprise of no one, a million dollars buys you not one, not two, not three, but four 2-bedroom flats in this very large property in Dunedin.  With a total floor area of 340sqm, it is almost twice the size of the Auckland property. 

Rental return is about 7% return which I would also guess is also about twice the Auckland property.  Whether the long-run capital gains could match or even come near Auckland is the reason some will choose this villa and some will choose one of the others above.


A long-term hold

Speaking of capital gains, we thought it would be fun to see what we could have bought with a million dollars 100 years ago.  It’s hard to find good property details but we did find the Statistics Yearbook from 1920 here.  In 1920, you could have bought:

  • The whole Coromandel Peninsula for 432,953 pounds
  • The entire Great Barrier island for 133,000 pounds
  • All of Karori, Wellington for 533,000 pounds
  • All of Linwood, Christchurch for 1.07m pounds
  • All of Queenstown for 65,000 pounds

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