New Zealand retail market dynamics Q1 2024

JLL’s New Zealand Retail Market Dynamics provide property insights into how the retail market is faring within Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

May 24, 2024
  • Gavin Read
  • Hina Imran

Our real estate market research is based on data from several reputable sources including on-the-ground insights from our own departments. 

CBD retail markets across Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch have continued to rebound strongly during the first few months of 2024, with several leases recently completed across all three cities. For Auckland CBD, this is particularly true for retail spaces near the waterfront, which has benefited from increased office attendance as well. 

The trend of luxury space in Auckland CBD being in high demand has driven the upper end of average prime rents to $3,900 per square metre, with the most sought-after locations sitting in excess of $5,000 per square metre. This contributed to a 9.1% year-on-year increase for average net prime CBD retail, rising to $2,550 per square metre in Q1 2024, and are expected to increase by a further 2.9% by the end of the year. 

While net rents remained unchanged in the capital for the eighth consecutive quarter, retail vacancy rose slightly, by 1.4% to sit at 8.1%. In Christchurch, net prime rents rose by a significant 14.8%, equating to an enormous 34.8% year-on-year increase, signifying the resurgence and desirability of retail in the Garden City. Demand for luxury retail space in Christchurch is expected to drive the upper end of prime CBD rents to over $1,200 per square metre by the end of 2024. 

Luxury retail and premium CBD space continues to attract strong demand from occupiers seeking the highest footfalls. Heart of the City statistics for Q4 2023 showed a 32% year-on-year increase for footfall in Auckland’s CBD. 

Wellington has seen a number of well-known brands settle into retail locations to begin Q1 2024, with T2 opening doors in Lambton Quay, and Lego opening its first Wellington store in Precinct’s Willis Lane.

  • How will strip retail perform in Auckland through 2024? 

  • What retail sector is driving the largest y-o-y change in prime rents across the country?

  • Where is bulk retail performing strongly?

Find out more below.

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