Economic Insights

Find out more about Kāpiti's economy, including the tourism, housing market and consumer data. Source: Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor.

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How we are tracking - December 2020

Kāpiti has bounced back from the effect of the June quarter lockdown, with Infometrics provisional GDP estimates showing growth of 0.4% over the year to December 2020, compared to a 2.6% decline nationally. Kāpiti's GDP in the December 2020 quarter was 1.8% higher than December 2019.

Strong consumer spending is a key driver behind this strength, aided by an increasing number of Kāpiti residents working from home and frequenting local hospitality and retail outlets. Consumer spending in Kāpiti was up by 1.7% over the year to December 2020, ahead of a 3.2% decline nationally. December quarter spending was 4.0% higher than last year.

Consumer spending in Kāpiti increased by 1.7% over the year to December 2020 compared to the previous year. This compares with a decrease of 3.2% in New Zealand.


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House values have grown strongly across the Wellington Region, with the highest growth recorded in Kāpiti and Wairarapa as increasing uptake of working from home helps to overcome the disadvantage of longer commute times. Kāpiti's house values grew 23.0% over the year to December 2020, reaching an average value of $779,925. The number of sales in Kapiti grew 35.3%, the strongest jump in the region.

Despite strong interest in Kāpiti's housing, consents for new dwellings eased 8.4% over the year to December 2020, with the number of dwellings consented broadly in line with the District’s long-term average.

Kāpiti’s unemployment rate has crept up over the past year, reaching 4.0% for the year to December 2020, but remains well below the regional average of 4.6%.

The number of Jobseeker Support recipients on the Coast grew 20.3% over the year to December 2020, behind the regional increase of 28%. Interestingly, the Jobseeker Support recipients jumped up in April 2020, and have held steady at around 2,000 ever since.

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Key economic indicators

Nationally, economic activity remains on a more optimistic pathway in the December quarter as New Zealand’s economy remains resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Provisional estimates from Infometrics show activity edging up 0.2%pa in the December quarter – a slightly slower pace than in the September quarter as the post-lockdown surge pulled back. The large shock due to the Level 4 lockdown means that year-end activity is expected to be down 2.6%. Aside from a soaring housing market, economic indicators generally charted a stable path ahead. Regional economies with a strong international tourism-focus remain in a difficult economic position, but the underlying expectation for the New Zealand economy is undoubtedly upbeat.

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