Now we're all firmly back at work, it's the perfect time to do a holiday hot spot review. I wanted to find out who those lucky people buying property in our holiday spots over the summer break are.

I'm staying clear of the debate over New Zealand's best holiday destinations, though. For simple analysis, I picked five of the country's largest sea/lakeside areas, with significant short-term guest numbers over summer (according to Stats NZ). I then analysed sales in December 2017 and January 2018.

My top five were the Far North and Thames Coromandel districts, Mount Maunganui, Taupo and Tasman districts. Accepting that not all buyers would be holidaymakers, the results are intriguing.

Unsurprisingly, first home buyers aren't particularly active in these hot spots. The highest share for this group of buyers is 16 per cent in Mount Maunganui. In Thames Coromandel they accounted for roughly 4 per cent across those two months (compared to 8 per cent long-term average).


What struck me about The Mount, though, was an increase in cash sales over the Christmas/New Year period — 29 per cent of sales were to cashed-up multiple property owners, which represents a 6 per cent lift compared to this group's share during the rest of 2017.

In the Far North, purchasing behaviour doesn't change too much over the holidays, with no more than a 1 per cent swing to/from any of the groups, other than first home buyers who drop from 12 per cent earlier in the year to 10 per cent over the warmer months.

In Thames Coromandel, where we know first home buyers struggle over summer (4 per cent compared to 8 per cent the rest of the year), it's multiple property owners who flex their muscles — 55 per cent of sales go to these buyers.

Half of these don't even require a mortgage. It looks like homeowners are taking advantage of capital gains made elsewhere to me.

In Taupo, multiple property owners again take centre stage but what's interesting is the ratio of those needing a mortgage and those that are cashed up. Taupo buyers skipping the bank find it tougher over the break.

Their usual share of 26 per cent drops to 20 per cent when the tourists hit town, while mortgaged multiple property owners did the opposite (lifting their share from 19 to 26 per cent).

In Tasman, it's definitely a mover's game: 40 per cent of sales go to re-locators across most of the year, jumping slightly in December and January to 42 per cent. Both multiple property owners and first home buyers take a drop of a few percentages over the same period.

So there you have it. If you're seriously looking to nab a slice of Kiwi paradise next summer, now you know the types of buyers you'll be competing against.


For the rest of us, let's just hope we haven't seen the last of our summer weather.