Auckland property exiles boosting regional job markets

Regions around New Zealand are experiencing a significant increase in job applications from Auckland thanks in part to the City of Sail’s property market, says Trade Me Jobs.

Head of Trade Me Jobs Peter Osborne said the Bay of Plenty in particular has benefited from the Auckland property market’s extreme prices but regions like Waikato, Northland and Hawke’s Bay were seeing a jump in interest from Aucklanders.

“The Bay of Plenty has been New Zealand’s star performer in 2015 with at least 20 per cent growth in jobs listings each quarter this year. No other New Zealand region has come close to matching that growth over the past 12 months and we think Aucklanders escaping the property boom in the City of Sails are helping to spur it.”

Last month Trade Me Property statistics revealed that the Bay of Plenty was New Zealand’s second most expensive area to purchase a house as part of the ‘Auckland effect’. The Auckland effect has been coined to describe the rising demand for housing in areas surrounding Auckland due to extreme house prices in the city.

“Auckland’s soaring cost of living has created property exiles and that in turn creates job exiles too,” Mr Osborne said. “To buy an affordable house these people need to look elsewhere and, of course, they need a job in their new home town and that is where regions around the country have been the winners.

“Over the last three months 13 per cent of applications for Bay of Plenty jobs have been completed by Aucklanders, up 37 per cent on last year. It’s a similar scenario in other regions with Northland (36 per cent) and Waikato (26 per cent) experiencing significant increases in job applications from Aucklanders compared to last year.”

“Our research has indicated that work/life balance is the most important factor for New Zealand job hunters,” Mr Osborne said. “Smaller cities with a plethora of outdoor activities and short commutes, like Tauranga, Rotorua or Hamilton, offer that balance.”

He said Aucklanders looking to move elsewhere needed to go in with clear and realistic expectations about salaries outside of the major cities. “The average salary in Auckland hovers around $64,000, compared to $53-55,000 in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Northland. The upshot of that is that if you’re looking to make a move outside of Auckland, make sure you know your worth and keep realistic but you’re unlikely to command the same salary.

“On the flipside, if your house is more affordable and your commute is shorter it’s likely that you’ll be better off despite taking a salary cut.”