The soon-to-open Transmission Gully is driving up the value of Kapiti Coast properties. The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand reports the median price of a house in the district jumped 39 percent year-on-year, from $647,500 in May 2020 to $900,000 – which was just shy of April’s recording-breaking $930,000.
“The Kapiti Coast has had terrific growth with the anticipation of Transmission Gully making the area almost more accessible to the city than many parts of the eastern suburbs in terms of time to get into the city,” Tommy’s Real Estate Sales Director Nicki Cruickshank says.
The 27 kilometre four-lane motorway will provide a shorter new route between Wellington City and the Kapiti Coast when it opens in September.
Stretching from Linden to the Mackays Crossing interchange, where it will join the Kapiti Expressway, it will provide a faster alternative to the often-congested Centennial Highway.
“I think people are already anticipating the commute will be around the 30-minute mark,” Nicki says, “but we may see demand grow even stronger once they can actually see this as a reality.”
She says the Kapiti Coast market mirrors what’s happening in Wellington City.
“It’s virtually the same: very low on listings, difficult to buy, and anything good that comes on the market is out the door for terrific money.
“The appeal of slightly better weather, the anticipation of the ease of travel and good public transport into the city have made the Kapiti Coast more appealing across all age groups whereas previously it was known for being more of a retirement destination.
“But now it is definitely harder for retirees to buy up the coast with competition from all age groups at the moment, in particular first home-buyers.
“A lot of young people are happy to make their lives up the coast, and because of the more affordable prices, compared to the city, we have seen large numbers of first-home buyers looking to establish themselves.”
Nicki says such has been the upsurge in demand for Kapiti Coast housing that some areas are achieving price parity with Wellington City suburbs.
“The prices of three-bedroom homes in the best locations on the coast I think would now probably match those of a Wellington City suburb.
“But if we were to compare like-with-like on recent townhouses sold, they are more affordable up the coast than they are in the city at this point.”
Nicki says beach locations generally command the highest prices.
“But buyers are looking in all areas. They especially want flat access to transport, shops, cafes and beach.”
She points out the Kapiti Coast offers a variety of houses, from baches to increasingly more new builds.
“There is a good cross-section of homes, right from the ‘traditional bach’ on a decent piece of land, to solid 1960s-style three-bedroom family homes, to the large, beautiful, established homes.
“Recently a number of developers have moved to this region to cater for the demand, and we are now seeing an influx of low-maintenance townhouses being built as the most affordable option.”