Rosy future for Taranaki's real estate market

Bayleys research manager Ian Little believes New Plymouth will benefit from being the second best region in the world
GRANT MATTHEW/STUFF

Bayleys research manager Ian Little believes New Plymouth will benefit from being the second best region in the world

A visiting real estate expert has painted a rosy picture for Taranaki, largely on the back of a surging tourism industry.

Bayleys research manager Ian Little presented his latest research to a group of developers, bankers, valuers and rural and commercial real estate workers last week. .

After a lean few years for people following a downturn in the economy, things were looking up thanks primarily to tourism but also thanks to a rebounding dairy and energy sector, his findings showed.

Bayleys research manager Ian Little thinks there are positive signs for Taranaki
GRANT MATTHEW/STUFF

Bayleys research manager Ian Little thinks there are positive signs for Taranaki

"It will have its ups and downs but the fundamentals are all good so there are definitely positive signs," Little said.

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"Taranaki is one of the stronger regions because of it's diverse economy."

The west end of New Plymouth city was likely the place to be in the future, he said.

The Len Lye Centre was the main reason for this trend but the refurbishment of the White Hart Hotel, the development of the King and Queen suites as well as new cafes and restaurants had helped create a vibrant arts and hospitality precinct.

"There's a lot of drift towards the west of the city at present, most of the activity is headed that way," Little said.

"Most people won't know what's in the Len Lye building but if you show them a photo of the building they certainly know where it is."

The popularity of the area has had a flow on effect - there was now more demand for office space in the area which was likely to see heightened activity within both the new build and refurbishment sectors.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's tourism sector was on a meteoric rise. The number of international tourists in the year to March totalled 3.68 million - an increase of 10 per cent in the last year

Taranaki is set to benefit not only from that, but can also look to capitalise on it's status as the second best region in the world. 

Total visitor spending in the region in the year to May 2017 totalled $348 million, an increase of 13.5 per cent over the last two years.

Retail spending in Taranaki was also up. Analysis of sales trends conducted by Venture Taranaki showed that within New Plymouth food retailing accounted for 34 per cent of all spending.

The greatest growth, in the last 12 months has been within the appliance and accommodation sectors.

But despite the good news, improvements to State Highway 3 were needed to help improve safety, resilience and efficiency.

Constructing a new route between the Awakino Gorge and Mt Messenger could potentially boost economic activity in the region, support the region's growing tourism and also help the dairy and energy sectors, he said.

"Taranaki by road is not always the easiest to get to so upgrading State Highway 3 would only help the region," Little said. 

 - Stuff

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