The Wellington region offers a variety of housing options including family homes, apartments and 'lifestyle' blocks - homes with more land in semi-rural areas. Many people choose to rent a house first and buy later. To find out more about New Zealand housing click here.
With some of the best views in the world, many houses in Wellington city are up flights of steps or shared walkways; some even have their own private cable cars. Space is at a premium and many houses do not have garages.
The first areas to be settled in the nineteenth century are in a ring around the central business district (CBD). These inner-city residential neighbourhoods offer proximity to the city, views of the harbour or city, mostly Victorian or Edwardian-style timber houses, and many well-established community facilities.
City apartment living, particularly around the southern end of the CBD in Te Aro, has grown in popularity over the past decade. There is a considerable choice of accommodation, from flats in converted warehouses, factories and offices to purpose-built apartments and townhouses.
Find out more about housing available in Porirua, Kapiti, Hutt Valley and Wellington by checking the Settlement Support information here.
Renting gives you a chance to look around and get a feel for different areas before deciding on where to buy. Here is an overview of renting in New Zealand, including rents and bonds, types of tenancies and you rights and responsibilities. Most rental properties are listed in the To Let columns of the Dominion Post newspaper, in its Wednesday and Saturday editions. Many real estate companies also list rental homes:
Tenancy Agreement, Bonds & Disputes
It is a good idea to find out your legal rights and responsibilities before committing to a lease. Tenancy Services is a government agency that can help you with this. For free advice and information on renting, call 0800 836 262, or check their website.
Cost of Renting
Rents vary depending on where the house is, the number of bedrooms and the condition of the house. You'll find more information here.
Buying a Home
The rate of individual home ownership in New Zealand is high by international standards. Kiwis love property. If your intention is to join this trend and buy a house here, you can begin your research before arriving in New Zealand.
Real Estate Information
It is a good idea to look at difference suburbs and compare the prices of different types of housing. Wellington's morning newspaper, The Dominion Post, runs special property features in its Saturday edition and this can be checked online. There are also a number of national online directories of properties for sale, including Open2View, which provides virtual tours, realestate.co.nz and Trade Me property. Once you find a house you like, you should get a professional property inspection to check the property's durability, workmanship and structural soundness. Consumer Build can help you.
There are several websites that offer up-to-date market prices for housing in Wellington, as well as different regions of New Zealand.
Essential services (electricity, gas, phone etc) are fast and straight-forward to establish in Wellington with a range of competitive suppliers. Gas and electricity usage is metered, and companies bill their customers monthly. Water is provided by local authorities and paid for through rates.
Moving to a new country means setting up a new financial life. Visit NewZealandNow to find out the key information you need to get started.