Our History

We know that real estate clients want to deal with consultants that have knowledge, expertise, honesty and integrity, and are committed to achieving the best possible result for them.

~ 1888

John Bateman Harcourt, head of one of Wellington's first families, establishes real estate and auctioneering company, Harcourt and Co. Two of his sons, Gordon and Stanton later join him and by early 1900s it boasts five trading divisions.

~ 1889

Harcourt and Co publish first edition of the Register and Property Investors' Guide.

~ 1905

Stanton Harcourt joins the family business and goes into Partnership with his father JB Harcourt.

Harcourt and Co moves to prominent premises on the corner of Lambton Quay and Panama Street.

~ 1920

Gordon Harcourt joins the family business after returning from the war.

~ 1928

JB Harcourt passes away, one month after being made a life member of the Chamber of Commerce.

~ 1929

After many years of working together, Stanton and Gordon's clashing personalities cause Gordon Harcourt to go out on his own to create Gordon Harcourt Ltd.

~ 1950

Stanton Harcourt goes into partnership with employee, Hec Fisher. Upon Stanton's retirement Hec takes sole charge.

~ 1968

Hec Fisher's son, Robert becomes manager of Harcourt and Co. with partner, Roger Whyte.

~ 1980

Harcourt and Co. makes its first major move outside of Wellington by establishing an Auckland valuation practice.

Harcourts becomes a publicly listed company.

~ 1984

Harcourt and Co opens a commercial sales office in Auckland, followed by a property management and a consultancy practice.

~ 1985

Following negotiations with Stephen Collins from Christchurch-based Collins Real Estate a joint venture company, Harcourts Real Estate Ltd, is formed to operate the residential and rural side of the business.

Harcourts Edward Rushton, the valuation department of Harcourts is introduced.

~ 1986

Stephen Collins assumes chief executive role of Harcourts Real Estate Ltd. A commitment is made to become a nationwide property services company which begins a period of vigorous expansion throughout the North Island.

~ 1987

Real estate companies in Palmerston north and Auckland are purchased and a south Auckland company follows soon after the share float.

The first Harcourts full - colour Property Magazine, known as the Bluebook, is launched in Christchurch featuring more than 150 local properties listed with the firm.

Harcourts breaks the 1,000 sales a month barrier, with 1,017 sales worth $128,391,000.

~ 1988

Harcourts celebrates 100 years of business.

Harcourts first Annual Conference is held at Huka Village, Taupo.

The purchase of a large shareholding by the National Bank of New Zealand allows the introduction of a mortgage finance package for Harcourts clients.

Harcourts introduces the Harcourts Real Estate Annual Scholarship. The first scholarship was awarded to Ms Brigette Leckie who is currently the Director, Intermediary Relationships for AllianceBernstein in Sydney.

Harcourts begins franchising its 60 offices nationwide, with the first in the North Island being Wairarapa and then Nelson in the South Island.

~ 1989

Tower Corporation buys shares in Harcourts Real Estate from National Bank of New Zealand.

~ 1992

Harcourts has doubled in size and now has 110 franchised offices nationwide.

Stephen Collins and Co-directors Paul Wright, Jo-Anne Clifford and Bob Cooper lead a management buy-out of Harcourts from Tower Corporation to form Harcourts Group.

Harcourts, in partnership with the New Zealand Police, launches the National Crime Prevention Programme.

~ 1993

Paul Wright is appointed as the General Manager of the Harcourts Group.

Harcourts sells more than $3Billion in property sales for the first time.

~ 1996

Harcourts launches the first national public searchable property database on the internet. The website attracts 600 visitors for 3,000 properties viewed on the first weekend.

Harcourts launches partnership with the New Zealand Fire Service.

~ 1997

Headed by former Harcourts Franchise owner Mike Green, Harcourts expands its operation into Australia, opening six offices in Queensland and a State Office in Brisbane.

Harcourts launches its Intranet, an on-line resource library.

Harcourts and National Mutual form joint venture company, Mortgage Express NZ Ltd, to offer mortgage products and other financial services.

~ 1998

Harcourts Property System, an on-line web based listing and client management software programme is launched.

Harcourts breaks the $4 billion in sales per year barrier.

Harcourts has 170 offices in New Zealand and Australia.

Harcourts launches its Australian website.

~ 1999

Executive Chairman, Stephen Collins, hands over the reins to current Managing Director Mike Green, and Chairman, Paul Wright.

Harcourts Legal Services is launched in Queensland, providing conveyancing to clients.

The franchising business system, The Harcourts Way, is launched on-line.

~ 2000

A Harcourts Credit Card is launched in New Zealand - a first for real estate in New Zealand.

Harcourts launches support for Heart Foundation in New Zealand.

Harcourts Hall of Fame is launched to recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the brand.

~ 2001

Harcourts focuses on growing its rural market-share, and strengthening its presence in Auckland by opening 11 new offices.

Harcourts launches support for Australian Heart Foundation.

Harcourts launches client services programme, The Harcourts Promise.

Harcourts opens 200th office and achieves sales in excess of $5 billion for the year.

Harcourts achieves 100,000 visitors per month to its New Zealand website.

~ 2002

Harcourts launches The Academy, a training academy providing courses for sales, management and administration to develop skills and to assist those wanting a career in real estate.

Stephen Collins sells his shareholding and controlling interest in Harcourts International to Mike Green and Paul Wright.

Harcourts achieves 150,000 visitors per month to its New Zealand and Australian websites.

Harcourts completes more than 30,000 sales contracts valued in excess of $7 billion.

Harcourts expands its Australian operation into New South Wales, purchasing a franchise group of 19 offices in Sydney.

~ 2003

Harcourts now has a total of 250 offices in the South Pacific and close to 2500 sales consultants.

Harcourts manage the sale of over 1,000 properties in a single week, and over 4,000 in a single month.

Harcourts International manages the sale of over 44,000 properties recording $11.5 billion in sales up 48 percent on the previous year.

Harcourts expand into Fiji with its first office opened in Suva.

Mike Green, Managing Director of Harcourts International Ltd, invited to join leading business organisation, the New Zealand Business Roundtable.

Harcourts becomes exclusive South Pacific member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a worldwide network of real estate companies with more than 700 companies and over 3,500 offices across the globe.

~ 2004

Harcourts takes ownership of the Roy Weston Group of 50 Offices in Western Australia and 15 offices in Indonesia www.royweston.net.

Harcourts forms joint ventures with leading independent Tasmanian company M&M Real Estate and Brock Real Estate in South Australia.

~ 2005

Harcourts International records best month ever in its 117 year history writing $1.4 billion of sales in February alone.

Harcourts New Zealand website www.harcourts.co.nz is ranked the number one Company website with over 150,000 unique visitors per month.

Harcourts starts successful relationship with the Disney Institute Programme.

~ 2006

Harcourts introduces Luxury Portfolio - an exclusive global marketing programme for $1m+ properties.

Harcourts has 431 offices across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Fiji.

Harcourts offices achieve a new annual record of $17.5 billion in property sales.

Harcourts opens its first 'virtual office' in Second Life (www.secondlife.com) making it the first known major real estate group with a virtual office.

Harcourts launches another Australasian first by including Google Mapping system on its public websites.

Harcourts announces full ownership of the mortgage broking company it was instrumental in setting up in 1997, Mortgage Express Ltd.

Harcourts Academy achieves RTO status (Registered Training Organisation) allowing industry licensing to those attending Academy programmes.

~ 2007

Harcourts announces a joint venture with the MPRE group of 21 offices in Victoria, Australia to create MPRE Harcourts. Harcourts now has offices in every state in Australia.

Harcourts expands into Singapore.

~ 2008

Harcourts expands into China, partnering with a major Shanghai developer, and opens in Shanghai.

Harcourts enter into a Joint venture with top South African real estate group, Homenet. 135 offices in South Africa, Botswana and Zambia join and rebrand to Harcourts.

Harcourts International launches its own charitable foundation - The Harcourts Foundation 'to provide support that helps, grows, and enriches communities'.

~ 2009

Harcourts wins international award for best property marketing products at Leading Real Estate Companies of the World annual conference.

Donations to the Harcourts Foundation reach $500,000.

Harcourts has over 615 offices, operating in 9 countries and completing in excess of $22 billion in written sales.

~ 2010

Harcourts enters Joint Venture partnership with USA Company Altera to operate in California.

In Australasia Harcourts form joint venture with NAI Global to form new Commercial real estate company NAI Harcourts.

~ 2011

Harcourts enters Joint Venture partnership with Landmark to form Landmark Harcourts, Australia's leading regional and rural real estate brand with over 130 real estate branches nationwide.

Donations to the Harcourts Foundation exceed $1,000,000.

Harcourts expands to Hong Kong.

Harcourts wins big at the International Real Estate Conference receiving the award for "Best New Media" recognising the company's iPad and iPhone Applications, media center, eBluebooks, Harcourts Answers website, social media and company blogs.

~ 2012

Harcourts launches premium marketing brand Luxury Property Selection.

Mortgage Express has its biggest month in July, settling $79,556,297.

Harcourts Complete, a free service offered to all Harcourts clients providing all the relevant real estate services required before, during or after a transaction is launched.

~ 2013

Harcourts celebrates 125 years since founder, JB Harcourts first started the company, then called Harcourt & Co. Over the past 125 years, Harcourts experienced astronomical growth, from becoming the largest and most recognised real estate brand in New Zealand to ranking amongst the top three real estate companies in Australia.

By 2013, Harcourts had expanded across New Zealand, Australia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Africa and the USA.

~ 2014

Harcourts New Zealand are voted New Zealand’s Most Trusted Real Estate Brand for the second year running. Harcourts USA launches auction platform for the first time as Harcourts footprint grows across the USA, Indonesia and for NAI Harcourts.

Harcourts USA launches auction platform for the first time.

Harcourts footprint grows across the USA, Indonesia and for NAI Harcourts.

Harcourts introduces two new industry leading apps for agents

~ 2015

Harcourts New Zealand is yet again voted New Zealand’s most trusted real estate agent by Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey. This makes it three years running!

Harcourts expands to Dubai.

Harcourts mobile apps have been recognised by Apple as the best in the real estate industry internationally. We are world leading!


Harcourts launches its refreshed group of brand out in to the marketing place across all countries.

Harcourts expands into Canada opening its first office in Vancouver.


Harcourts Services

Need to find an agent or office in your area?

Find an agent or office

Want email alerts for new property listings?

Register with Harcourts to find out how!

Get all the latest property news, media, blog posts and more!

Latest News