Chinese property investors are interested not only in Australia but also its neighbour, New Zealand. The other country Down Under is on the list of top 10 most searched for countries by Chinese seeking homes overseas, according to Juwai.com, the largest Chinese property website with over 2.2 million property listings from 53 nations.
In contrast, New Zealand was nowhere near the top 50 in the portal’s search in 2012.
New Zealand Herald reports that it is not just in the two major cities of Auckland and Wellington that the Chinese investors are interest in but also in smaller regions such as Kerikeri, Nelson, Kaiteriteri, Paihia and Gisborne.
Other than mainland Chinese visitors, Juwai.com also has visitors from Chinese communities in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
Due to the 89% growth in interest in New Zealand properties, the country placed ninth on the website’s top 10 list, followed by Spain. On top of the list is the US.
Andrew Taylor, co-chief executive of Juwai, said, “It used to be that New Zealand was unknown in China. It didn’t even appear in the top 20 destinations … But the Chinese have begun to learn about it. The New Zealand brand in China is high quality, natural and attractive.”
He disclosed that the most searched city is Auckland, followed by Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Taupo.
A good gauge of how big the Chinese community is in New Zealand is the recent opening of the 14th branch in Nelson of the 14th branch of the NZ Chinese Association.
To help the prospective home buyers pick good buys, Property Asia, a real estate agency based in Auckland, offers groups of Chinese buyers guided tours of available properties. The tours are held six times a year. Agent Sylvia Williams said that based on feedback, the Chinese investors like New Zealand’s weather, schooling system and find Kiwis friendly.
Ross Hawkins of Sotheby’s International Realty in New Zealand explains the growing interest of Chinese buyers to the country’s known high quality of life.
“The lifestyle is very special, as we have a large coastline for a small country. Much of the landscape is native bush and forests. Our beaches and islands deliver an idyllic summer lifestyle, and winter offers great alpine sports, including world-class skiing. We have a safe environment here in New Zealand, and the country is very clean and green. Also, our population is low compared to other countries, which is a big drawcard,” Hawkins explained.