buying a home in NZ, cost to build a house

Building vs Buying a Home in NZ – Lockdown Delays Building

The classic debate that kiwis have had for decades over buying a home in NZ is whether it’s better to buy a home or build a new one. As the cost to build a house is becomes increasingly affordable, more and more kiwis are choosing that option. However, the latest set of Covid cases may be changing that, as building a home is taking longer than ever.

The Recent Struggle With New Home Builds

Many of those who had delayed building a home in 2020 due to uncertainty caused by Covid finally bit the bullet and made plans to build their homes this year. However, this has not gone according to plan for many kiwis now stuck with project delays.

In August, people across New Zealand were shocked by the snap lockdown that occurred due to the spread of Covid cases in the North Island. This uprooted many plans and projects people were working on.

Even before that, the time it was taking to get your house built had already been increasing. Demand had surged because the cost to build a house had become more affordable than buying a home in NZ.

Since workers have had to drop their tools and leave building sites for a couple of weeks, there are now significant delays on many projects across NZ. In Auckland, builders have had to leave sites for even longer, causing lengthier delays.

These delays are not only due to the lost time but also house frames and other components left to the elements during that time. Some work had to be redone as it deteriorated due to exposure. For example, when West Auckland experienced flooding on August 30th, many structures were affected. With mere hours of notice before the restrictions were imposed, projects were left unprotected from the elements. This was impossible to avoid, even for seasoned builders.

This affects more than just the homeowners who had their new builds underway. Contractors have had to delay upcoming projects to finish ones that would have been completed if it were not for the latest series of Covid restrictions.

Pros and Cons of Building a Home in NZ

Here are some of the factors you should take into account if you are considering whether the cost to build a house is worth it.


Low Maintenance – As your home is new, you won’t need to fork out for costly repairs any time soon. This is an excellent option for those who don’t have the know-how to fix things around the house themselves.

Cheaper – ­­Building a home is the preferred option for many people, as the cost to build a house is usually more affordable than purchasing a similar-sized existing property.

Customisation – If you want to live in a home that’s perfectly suited to the needs of your family, building is the way to go. That way, you can decide how many rooms you want, which floorplan you prefer, and even make decisions such as the type of fittings you like.


Time – Many new home builds run over time, even without a pandemic in the mix. The latest lockdown means that your home build may not even be started for many months. Any new developments could also mean disruption once the building process is underway too.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Home in NZ

Thinking about buying a home in NZ? Here’s what you need to take into consideration.


Move In Quickly – Once you’ve bought a home, you will likely be able to move in much quicker than if you had built one. You just need to wait until you take ownership and then move in – no waiting around for builders or experiencing delays due to Covid.

No Decision Making – If you don’t want to have to make a ton of decisions before moving into your house, buying one is the best option for you. Your home will already have all of its landscaping done, fittings installed, and so on, meaning less brainwork for you.


Costly – As we all know, house prices are still soaring. Right now, the cost of buying a house is often higher than building a similar-sized dwelling.

Hard to Find a House – Buying a home is more challenging than ever at this point, with so many buyers looking for a place right now. There is a lot of competition, and many people are placing offers on numerous houses as they are constantly being outbid by others.

Looking to Buy a House?

If you’re set on buying a home in NZ because building would take too long and be too much hassle, take a look at the house listings on Shopless. Increase your chances of finding your dream home by widening your search, and hopefully, you’ll be in the home of your choice in no time! Don’t forget that if you don’t live in the place you want to buy in, many homes now have virtual tours so that you can check out the property from wherever you are in the country.

Happy house hunting!