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Moving to Auckland

Expats moving to Auckland will discover a modern, first-world city, with the charm and relaxed pace of a seaside community. Auckland has been nicknamed 'The City of Sails' because of the large number of yachts which sail between Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean and Manukau Harbour on the Tasmanian Sea. Auckland is an ideal expat destination, offering the perfect balance between maintaining a healthy lifestyle and pursuing business opportunities.

Auckland has a relatively small population of just under 1.7 million people. This is nearly one-third of New Zealand's entire population. Nevertheless, expats moving to Auckland will thrive in the cosmopolitan city. Auckland is made up of four areas, including Auckland City at the centre, North Shore on a raised peninsula to the north, Waitakere City to the west and Manukau City to the south.

The weather and climate are perfect incentives to choose Auckland as a new home. Summers are warm and the temperature averages 20°C (68°F) and winters are moderate, with an average temperature of 51°F (11°C).

Auckland is a culturally diverse city with a mix of expats, locals and Polynesian islanders. Famously, there are some nations in Polynesia with more citizens living as expats in Auckland than at home. This variety adds to the city’s charm and ensures a large number of cultural shows and festivals throughout the year. The general cost of living in Auckland remains higher than in other parts of the country. However, it is relatively low on a worldwide scale. Expats relocating to Auckland will find that they are able to live comfortably while enjoying a variety of leisure activities.

Auckland has a number of public transportation options such as ferries, buses, trains and taxis. However, owning a car is the easiest and most convenient means of navigating the city.

Although accommodation in Auckland is the most expensive in New Zealand, there are a variety of living options available to expats. Beach areas are more expensive while houses situated further from the shore are cheaper. Auckland has a broad selection of public and private schools. Free state healthcare facilities and private hospitals are available throughout the city.

As the economic capital, Auckland is the obvious choice for expats moving to New Zealand. It produces a third of New Zealand’s GDP, which is almost double that of the entire South Island. It is also the largest commercial centre in the country. Therefore, the average salaries in Auckland are significantly higher than elsewhere in New Zealand. Expats moving to Auckland will soon become hard-pressed to leave New Zealand's beautiful City of Sails.

Accommodation in Auckland

Finding accommodation in Auckland is a challenge for most expats. Auckland’s status as a global city and its position as New Zealand’s economic hub has resulted in high property prices. The city’s growing population has further increased the demand for accommodation in Auckland.

Most expats working in Auckland prefer to rent accommodation. Even many expats with long-term plans continue renting, as buying property in Auckland can be prohibitively expensive.   

Types of accommodation in Auckland

As the city has developed into an urban sprawl, with a variety of suburbs and areas, there are many different types of accommodation in Auckland. Expats will mostly find apartments within the city centre. On the other hand, Auckland’s many suburbs offer a mix between modern and historic freestanding houses. The quality of housing in Auckland varies, but expats typically find that most accommodation in the city is poorly insulated.  

Each neighbourhood in Auckland boasts a different atmosphere. Expats should determine which area best suits them before signing a rental contract. Another important consideration is how far their new home might be from their place of work. Many Auckland residents either drive their own cars or rely on buses, so traffic throughout the city can be severe.

As most people work in central Auckland, expats wanting to live near to their work should consider finding accommodation either in the city centre or in the nearby suburbs of Ponsonby or Grey Lynn. Those wanting to be close to the sea should explore Davenport and Takapuna, or the quieter suburb of Howick. Otherwise, Mangere Bridge offers more affordable accommodation while being only a half-hour drive from the city centre.

Finding accommodation in Auckland 

Expats can find accommodation through online property portals, as well as in the classified section of local newspapers. There are also many property groups on social media sites which list available accommodation.  

As the property market is extensive in Auckland, expats should also consider approaching a real estate agency. These agencies can be found throughout the city, so expats shouldn’t have any difficulty locating one.

Renting accommodation in Auckland

Expats looking to rent in Auckland will find that furnished accommodation is rare. Most expats, especially those looking for larger houses, end up renting unfurnished accommodation.

Because of the high cost of rent, renting shared accommodation is also popular. "Flatting" (sharing a house with other people) or "boarding" (renting a room in someone’s home) are common option for couples or single people living in Auckland.

Rent in Auckland is usually paid weekly. Landlords will typically require that tenants pay a deposit equivalent to one month's rent. Real estate agents tend to only deal with fixed-term 12-month leases and they typically charge a fee for their services. Notably, recent legislation has been proposed which will ban real estate agents from charging tenants a fee for using their services.