How regional mortgage advisers thrive in NZ's diverse markets

Insights from the field: from North to South

How regional mortgage advisers thrive in NZ's diverse markets

New Zealand's diverse regional property markets offer a range of landscapes, lifestyles, and investment potentials.

From the picturesque coast of Northland to the rugged terrains of Southland, each region boasts its own charm and opportunities for both investors and homebuyers.

However, this diversity also translates into isolated and varied market trends, with significant differences in property prices and economic responses.

Properties in Central Otago command an average asking price exceeding $1.5 million, while those in the remote West Coast hover just above $500,000, according to’s latest New Zealand Property Report.

Sarah Wood, CEO of, said that the variation across our regions signals that each local market responds differently to economic factors.

“And that is why I always recommend speaking to your local agent when buying or selling for the most up-to-date insights on what is happening in your area,” Wood said.

Challenges and success in Northland

For regional New Zealand mortgage advisers like Sandeep Maisuriya (pictured above left) and Mandy Jordan (pictured above right), this means the challenges and opportunities that exist can also be diverse.

Maisuriya, director of Zest Mortgages in Whangarei Northland, has diversified his offering to accommodate for the challenges of the region.

“We help a wide range of people, from first home buyers all the way to commercial customers. Most of my work relates to home loan lending, business lending, and commercial lending,” Maisuriya said.

Maisuriya said the biggest challenge for home buyers – and by extension mortgage advisers – in Northland was “buying something that is worth the value”.

“There’s definitely an abundant supply of properties but similar challenges to other regions. We only have low-deposit customers or a good deposit but not enough income,” he said.

Northland’s average asking prices for March had risen 3.9% month-on-month and 2.4% year-on-year to $883,011 despite having the third-lowest average annual household gross income of any region in the country.

Despite this, Maisuriya has carved out an effective market in the region, which resulted in being recognised as a broker of the year – regional finalist at the 2024 NZ Mortgage Awards.

“I always work with our clients to understand their priority and if they haven’t thought things through, then I advise them on getting their priority sorted so we can work on a mutual goal of home ownership,” Maisuriya said.

Southland’s unique property dynamics

At the other end of the country in Invercargill, Jordan doesn’t have these problems.

In March, Southland had the second lowest average asking price behind the West Coast, coming in at $535,944 and $506,887 respectively.

However, the West Coast region is quickly catching up to its regional rivals with the average asking price up 16.7% year-on-year.

Also a broker of the year – regional finalist at this year’s mortgage awards, Jordan said her team at Mortgage Supply Southland were “really fortunate” that property values are still quite affordable compared to the rest of the country.

Still, Invercargill’s largely suburban family population is not without its unique difficulties.

“Our main challenge for clients is probably them getting time off work for appointments so we work nights and weekends to cater for this,” said Jordan. “However, this works for me as it allows me to be home during the day with my young family.”

Word of mouth: The challenge for regional mortgage advisers

Along with an office in Invercargill, Mortgage supply also has a branch in the considerably more expensive Hawke’s Bay region.

Coming in at $769,156, Hawke’s Bay’s average asking price dropped 7.7% between February and March – the biggest monthly drop out of any region.

Yet Jordan said there are similarities amongst New Zealand’s regional areas, with many advisory businesses relying on community reputation to get leads.

“The challenge is we are taking on areas where word of mouth is huge,” Jordan said. “Often people would approach a bank just because their parents or grandparents used that bank. It’s taken us a few years to challenge that mindset, but I think we've done it.            

“It’s not just about getting an approval but it's about getting the best approval and we push that. The opportunities are endless – do a good job and keep the passion and people talk and the snowball effect with leads happens.”

Are you a regional adviser? What challenges do you face? Comment below.