The West Coast is one of the few places left in Aotearoa where house prices remain affordable.
Households spend less than 25 percent of their income on mortgage repayments, while the national average is nearly 50 percent.
Business opportunities are also increasing and despite the region’s reputation for rain, it had more sunshine than any other main centre last year.
Te Ahu Tama Meihana-Hosking was living in Adelaide when the opportunity to buy the Hokitika Barber Shop arose.
Meihana-Hosking and his whānau were keen to leave behind the busy lifestyle in South Australia for a cruisier pace of life.
Development West Coast chief executive Health Milne said more and more people were seeking out a life in the region.
The West Coast was leading the country for economic growth – partly due to increased investment in infrastructure, he said.
“We still have much more affordable housing than the rest of the country …”
The latest data provides another reason for newcomers to swap the rat race for a new pace – more than 200 new jobs were created in the region last year, with unemployment falling to 3.5 percent.