New Zealand's largest industry
In the public mind, the property industry is somehow conflated with a housing market that seemingly rises with little effort, making existing home owners richer and aspiring home owners more despairing! Part of that association comes from media referring to the ‘property market’ as just the dwellings people live in.
The truth of property is more than that, its beneficial impact on the New Zealand economy is enormous, and it makes an emphatic contribution to the nation’s prosperity.
An example, more or less replicated throughout the country, is Waikato. A direct regional economy benefit of $2.8 billion is generated by property, with a flow-on injection of $4.9b. That is 12% of Waikato GDP, it makes property the province’s biggest industry, employing 1 person in every 10. More than 20% of those employees are young – under the age of 24.
Property drives national as well as regional growth. Property had a direct impact of $41.2b on the New Zealand economy in 2019 – the latest year for which figures are available – and it made up 15% of all economic activity. By March 2020, the GDP contribution of construction had reached nearly $17 billion. As of June 2021 there were 67,000 construction industry enterprises in Aotearoa, and year-on-year during the last decade the workforce has grown by around 7,000 people.
This is an industry that employs nearly 200,000 New Zealanders, with construction accounting for almost half of that activity. Listed property companies dominate the NZX, with a total market capitalisation of $53 billion. Property is literally building New Zealand’s future. As well as actual building there are construction services, property operations and real estate activity. Property employs architects, engineers, technicians and managers.
Property Council New Zealand is the one organisation that collectively champions property. Our members are shaping our cities and towns, improving how people live and work.