Making the case to buy a Coromandel business

5:00 AM Saturday October 22, 2016 True Commercial

Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Coromandel’s weather and the beaches may be golden, but so too are the region’s business opportunities.

That’s according to ABC Business Sales consultant, Graeme Finch, who says Coromandel — long renowned for its laidback, holiday atmosphere — is rapidly becoming something of a business hot spot.

“With a permanent population of nearly 28,000 — sustaining more than 4000 businesses — this district is expected to top 30,000 within two years,” Finch points out.

“You could escape Auckland’s traffic, sell a house that’s probably tripled in value over the last 15 years, buy a waterfront property with views and have enough left over to invest in a business; one making what you earn in Auckland.

“Why be a tradesperson or run a hospitality outlet in Auckland, when you can make the same income living in the Coromandel?”

Thames-Coromandel residential property prices are on the increase but according to QV.co.nz the average house price of $617,000 is about half that of properties in Auckland City or on the North Shore. The continuing development of subdivisions, marinas and waterway homes means that construction is booming.

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New Chums Beach

“There are many upmarket homes being built across the district,” says Finch. “For example, Whitianga has undergone major developments with retailers such as The Warehouse, Placemakers and Countdown opening stores.

“The knock-on effect is more people, more retailers and the generation of more jobs in the town. With all the building activity there’s plenty of work for tradespeople and related businesses.”

“The district has a skilled, well-educated workforce. People come from all over the country — and the world — to live on the Coromandel. Most are already successful and choose the Coromandel because of its warm climate, spectacular beaches, great boating and fishing, relaxed lifestyle and easy access to Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. It offers that rare chance to balance professional and business pursuits with family and community interests while enjoying a recreational lifestyle that’s second to none.”

District Council figures show health care and social assistance were the biggest contributors to economic growth from 2005-2015, followed by retail trade and the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.

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The Hauraki Rail Trail, through the Karangahake Gorge

Aquaculture was key, reeling in $50 million a year to the local economy. The oyster and mussel industries were responsible for creating about 400 industry-related jobs.

In its 2013 Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan, the Thames-Coromandel District Council set six major economic targets, one of which was to increase employment in the region by 5 per cent by the end of 2018.

With tourism one of the area’s leading industries, the plan also highlighted increasing annual visitor guest nights by 5 per cent as a goal. The Thames-Coromandel district’s economy was worth $998 million in 2015 and tourism is a major contributor with $80 million to GDP.

The council is also driving telecommunication upgrades, acknowledging in its plan. “A new faster broadband service is vital for our economic growth as it makes the Coromandel a much more attractive place to live and to work.”

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The town of Whitianga

Finch agrees. “It’s now easier than ever to be connected to the rest of the world and you couldn’t wish for a better place from which to run a business remotely. Instead of wasted time stuck in rush hour traffic, you could be swimming, fishing, boating or surfing. If you are travelling out of the Coromandel for business, Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga are all within a two-and-a-half hour drive of Whitianga, and it’s even less to Whangamata.”

Whitianga (pop 4500) is renowned for its boating and fishing as well as nearby top tourist drawcards Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove. Whangamata (pop 3000), an hour’s drive away, hosts an annual Beach Hop which attracts up to 50,000 visitors to the Coromandel’s southern gateway.

Other popular events and scenic attractions include Whitianga’s Scallop Festival, the K2 Road Cycle Classic, the Pohutukawa Festival, the Karangahake Gorge (voted one of the “101 Must Do’s for Kiwis”), and New Chums Beach, regarded as one of the world’s best.

If making a move to the Coromandel appeals, ABC has a great range of hospitality businesses, building and plumbing supplies on its books (or check out the company’s website, www.businessesforsale.co.nz) priced between $215,000 and $850,000.