NZ a hotspot for second homes

High demand for Kiwi properties

NZ a hotspot for second homes

A recent international study has ranked New Zealand as the second most searched-for location in the world for people owning a second property.

According to research by GetAgent, Ireland topped the list, followed by New Zealand, the UK, Equatorial Guinea, and Italy.

“What we are seeing in our own data is that internationals are looking at New Zealand more so now than ever before,” Mark Harris, managing director of NZ Sotheby’s Realty, told Stuff. “Our website traffic from visitors in Singapore and Indonesia has increased by more than 90% since 2023, and searches from Australia and the United States have also increased.”

Ross Hawkins of Ray White Black Group Realty echoed this sentiment.

“There are a lot of disappointed people at the moment that are wanting to buy in New Zealand who can’t,” Hawkins said, noting that international interest comes from a diverse range of investors, including those from Australia, Hong Kong, the United States, and various European countries.

Policy restrictions and potential changes

Despite the high interest, foreign buyers have been restricted from purchasing property in New Zealand since the NZ Overseas Investment Act was updated in 2018. However, there is hope that these rules might change soon.

“We are hoping that this rule is going to be lifted soon,” Harris told the news agency.

Hawkins suggested a higher property price threshold if the NZ Overseas Investment Act is updated.

“If they pulled that threshold higher and made it $5 million or something like that, then it’s only the big spenders that are coming in and then you’re not really affecting the local buyers at all,” he said.

Popular regions and buyer motivations

Harris confirmed that lifestyle regions such as the Bay of Islands, Waiheke Island, the Coromandel, and the Southern Lakes are most popular with international buyers.

“It’s usually dependent on what tier of the market they are in, and where their primary residence is,” he told Stuff. “We are seeing Sydney residents nearing retirement buy second properties in Queenstown for lifestyle purposes.”

Both Harris and Hawkins agreed that the natural beauty and leisure-oriented lifestyles of these regions make them attractive to international buyers.

“New Zealand has not diminished in popularity in terms of potential places to want to move to or buy property in,” Harris said. “So, it’s been interesting to see the traffic pick up and the reasons for that are possibly a little bit of geopolitical unrest, mostly offshore.”

Future prospects

Harris suggested that if the rule changes were implemented, it would be interesting to see whether the current inquiries would convert into actual purchases, indicating optimism about the potential impact of policy changes on the New Zealand property market.

See the Stuff report in full here.

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