Whangarei has been growing at a rapid rate over the last few years with a substantial population increase – as we wrote last week, the third highest in the country! This is a sign of a strong economy and with some recent events, we believe this isn’t going to stop any time soon!
The Commercial Property Market is Tight
Our award winning Commercial Property specialist, Peter Peeters spoke to the New Zealand Herald late last month, sharing just how bouyant the Whangarei Market is. “The amount of empty land of any sort is almost non-existent. There are only around 20 vacant retail shops in Whangārei city and five vacant industrial sites.” This means that businesses are doing well and can afford the rent – showing bustling economic activity.
Unemployment is down
In May this year the Household Labour Force Survey showed unemployment in Northland is down, overall and particularly for Māori. The number of people not in employment, education or training is so low that it sits below Auckland on a percentage basis. The New Zealand herald reports that advertised job vacancies are up 99% on five years ago. This means that business is going well, expanding and more people are finding suitable work thanks to this growth and renewed confidence.
Infrastructure is full speed ahead
When Infrastructure investment is strong, it’s a good economic indicator. Last month Northland electricity company Northpower revealed it will spend $194 million into Kaipara and Whangarei over the next decade. This investment plan is aimed at facilitating bigger electrical demands including electric cars, solar power and energy storage technologies to better equip the region for the future.
Housing is growing
With the population growth comes the demand for more housing and while there has been plenty of private housing development over the last few years, the government has committed to increasing the state housing supply in Northland. As part of the Public Housing Plan released in August, there is a commitment to build 180 new homes across Northland – most of which will be in Whangarei. With increased employment encouragement for state housing residents, the boost in population shows the government’s faith that the economy will continue to grow.
Exciting tourism and entertainment construction is on the horizon
Last but not least, perhaps the most exciting driver are the plans for a four star, 130-room hotel and entertainment centre in Whangarei. According to the New Zealand Herald and the Northern Advocate, a group of local investors are behind the project, believed to be the largest construction project ever in Whangarei, worth hundreds of millions of dollars. With construction comes more jobs and the papers speculate that this project would create hundreds of jobs during construction and 140-160 jobs after construction.
So, with all of that going on it’s hard to turn your eyes away from just how great our part of the country is doing – well done Northlanders!