Articles


Covid-19 creates opportunities to subdivide lifestyle blocks (August 2020)

Lifestyle blocks are seeing a resurgence in demand since the arrival of the coronavirus to our shores.  People seem to be taking working from home to a whole new level as they escape the dense city living for the virus-free open air of the countryside.

We have recently seen sections from some rural subdivisions we are involved in selling out fast. We can't seem to produce lifestyle blocks fast enough to satisfy the market at present.  The demand is not only from city folk wanting to move out, but from overseas residents searching for a ‘bolt hole’ in a relatively virus-free society.

Recent talks with real estate agents across the region confirm that they have seen increased demand since the first lockdown, from people wanting to take more control of their lives. It seems that, with all the uncertainty currently around us, people have put plans for their future on fast forward. People are looking for safety, some space for a good large vegetable garden, room for the kids to run around at home and space for a few animals destined for the freezer.

There are still opportunities to subdivide lifestyle blocks in some districts such as Waikato, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako, Thames-Coromandel and Western Bay to name a few. However, opportunities are disappearing with ongoing changes to council planning rules, so urgent action is needed in some areas if you want to create one. There are plans afoot which will take away subdivision rights for many in the Waikato District and some councils have already made it much harder.

The most popular areas for a lifestyle block lie within a thirty-minute drive of a well-serviced town or city, but some people are prepared to live much more remotely for various reasons. 

Now that rural internet has become more available and economical, there is little reason to be hemmed in, within the city boundary, so I think we will see this current trend continue for some time to come. 

In days gone by, you could often find an idyllic place in the countryside and approach the farmer to purchase a small slice of paradise.  These days there are only some properties that qualify to subdivide a lifestyle block off, and the rules regulating it are very complex.  However, using our experience and knowledge of the rules, we can still achieve an outcome on many properties.  This can be based on their size, zoning or ecological features such as streams, wetlands or bush that are worthy of protection; depending on which district you are located in. 

If you feel that you would like the opportunity to subdivide off a lifestyle block from the farm, feel free to call me to discuss your opportunities. 

Brent Trail, Managing Director of Surveying Services, specialises in resource consent applications for subdivisions across the Waikato, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty.  For further information call 0800 268 632 or email btrail@surveyingservices.co.nz

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