Regional round-up – Wellington and Wairarapa
For the second year running, Deutsche Bank has named Wellington as the most liveable city in a list of 50 for best quality of life. It’s rankings on pollution, safety, healthcare, cost of living, traffic commutes, climate and property-to-income ratio saw it rank ahead of cities such as Zurich, Copenhagen, Edinburgh and Vienna.
Wellington City Council Economic Development Portfolio leader Simon Marsh says the region’s economy has grown by 2.7 percent in the last quarter, and confidence is high. The number of residential building consents is up, and unemployment continues to fall.
The Wellington City Council says the city experienced a gain in permanent and long-term migration of 2772 people in the year to March 2018, which is nearly double the 10-year average.
The effect of population growth can be seen in house price increases and rents going up, and also a 4.2 percent increase in traffic (against a 2 percent national increase).
“The good news is that people are voting for Wellington with their feet. We are a city that people want to live in,” says Marsh.
Meanwhile, just over the Rimutuka mountain range, Wairarapa is also doing well. South Wairarapa mayor Viv Napier says not only is the district within commuting distance to Wellington, is boasts a superior climate, along with a diverse economy and a wide range of tourist activities.
In recent years the numbers of professionals choosing to live in the region while continuing to commute to the capital for work has grown.
Property Brokers real estate agent Benn Milne told Stufflast year that they are seeing huge interest from out-of-town buyers for both urban houses and lifestyle blocks. They estimate 95 percent of their house sales in Featherston in 2017 were to investors and commuters from out of the region because of the low prices still available in the town.
And it’s not just the house prices that are attractive. While it may not be considered for the Deutsche Bank list, late last year, Masterton was voted NewZealand’s most beautiful city. The judges of the Beautiful Awards, run by Keep New Zealand Beautiful, praised the Wairarapa town for its focus on community projects.
“Masterton blew away the judges with their wide range of environmental and heritage conservation projects, and the strength of their community engagement with numerous community groups working hard to make Masterton a safer and more beautiful community.”
Doubling the success for Wairarapa, Greytown took out the small town category.