28 August 2008

Upsurge in overseas buyers of NZ homes in search of "better quality of life"

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More international investors are taking advantage of the lowering interest rates and realistic house prices in New Zealand, reports the New Zealand Herald, so they can find a better quality of life.

Alistair Helm of realestate.co.nz told the newspaper the past few months have seen a rapid increase in the number of foreign investors buying New Zealand houses.  During 2007, the number of overseas browsers on their internet site reached 22 per cent, while this year the number grew to 27 per cent.

According to Helm, Australian, UK, and American residents comprise the largest groups of overseas prospective investors in New Zealand.  A three-bedroom Auckland home last week received 2,000 views on their internet site over eight days, and over 1,000 of these were from overseas, including British residents.

Auckland real estate agent Ross Brader said British residents tell him they are moving to New Zealand for “a better quality of life”.  Brader, who sells properties in the Western suburbs of Auckland, said many overseas buyers look to buy in his area because of its coastal lifestyle, proximity to the city, and excellent amenities.

"Because the American economy is so tough at the moment a lot of people - buyers and investors - are focusing on New Zealand," Boutique agent Michael Boulgaris told the news provider. "The expats are definitely coming back. It is in their best interests to make a move now."

Although Boulgaris claims many overseas buyers are attracted to New Zealand because of the current exchange rate of the New Zealand dollar, Helm says more people are now buying into the lifestyle change that New Zealand has to offer rather than following the market trends.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.

Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.

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