The Future of Our Town

In Otago region, Queenstown is a small resort town. It is loved by the locals and the visitors alike and has been growing rapidly in recent years.

Yes, it is great thing but as the economy grows, many people are struggling to find houses to live in that are affordable. It is approaching the state of ‘crisis’. The country's remarkable tourism blast is generating more jobs in this dazzling town, drawing more workers. But at the same time, worker shortages are happening because the houses are too expensive to afford. If the workers have no place to live then they won’t be able to stay. This is why there are so many jobs in Queenstown. At the same time, the investors are swooping in and a flood of people from other regions visit or stay in long terms, overpopulating the town. As you can see, living in Queenstown is becoming a bit intense. The QV House Price Index out today showed the Queenstown Lakes area's average house value now stands at $1million. It has risen by 32.2% from last year. While prices rises all over New Zealand, Queenstown is recommended as one of the highest as Queenstown housing may soon take the spot from Auckland as the most expensive area in all of New Zealand.

While Queenstown housing prices continue to rise, property/land marketing is picking up speed. As our popularity grows, Queenstown is running out of space. The past few years Queenstown has been in a state of construction. This affects our visual beauty As the town grows, many places that once had trees, bushes are now concrete property.

As the Queenstown’s house prices rise, it is also affecting short or long term rentals/backpackers. I believe one of the reasons behind this is Air BnB. Almost 800 Queenstown Lakes District property owners are offering Air BnB holiday home accommodation. Owners are advertising short-term rental accommodation online, but paying residential rates on their properties. Air BnB offers short term accommodation just like backpackers. Because the Air B and B house owners can get over $200 a night, the long term rentals are being removed from the market.

Therefore, the expansion of our area is causing many problems. Most of them seem to revolve around money. We need to think outside the square to find solutions. 

Cool Wakushima - Wakatipu High School Year 10 Student