New Zealand retail market snapshot Q2 2021

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

May 31, 2021

Our real estate market research is based on data from several reputable sources including on-the-ground insights from our own departments. Reading our property insights from the previous quarter will help to guide your property decisions in the quarters ahead.

Almost a year on from the beginning of New Zealand’s first lockdown, the respective retail markets in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are showing a divergence in response to the challenges of the last 12 months.

In Auckland, the effect of a series of shifts between lockdown levels combined with ongoing border closures has resulted in significant challenges (particularly in the CBD).

However, pedestrian count data indicates that the CBD has seen a strong response in workers returning to offices once lockdowns end. Suburban centres have generally fared better, though this is location dependent. Despite these challenges, we have continued to record stable average metrics for both Auckland CBD and Suburban retail assets in with rents and yields both remaining stable.

In direct contrast, Wellington CBD retail is experiencing significant challenges as many Government departments continue to work from home. The reduction in foot traffic particularly along the Golden Mile, though also felt in secondary CBD locations, has seen many retailers close over the last year.

As a result, we have recorded a fall in rents for both prime and secondary CBD retail space.

Of the three main cities, Christchurch has seen the most stability in its retail sector metrics over 1Q20.

Like Wellington, Christchurch has not experienced a level 3 lockdown since June 2020. Christchurch also enjoys a higher proportion of quality retail stock than Wellington or Auckland as a result of rebuild activity, which has contributed to tenant retention. We have recorded stability in both prime and secondary retail rents and yields for Christchurch, a trend we expect to continue.

Some of the questions answered in the latest report include:

  1. Which retail sector is facing the largest challenges? 
  2. How are retail rents and yields faring? 
  3. What retail projects are in the pipeline for Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch?

Find out more below.

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