Overseas buyers not prevalent in NZ property market

New figures have dismissed fears that property prices in New Zealand are being pushed up due to an influx of foreign buyers.

The latest data collected by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) shows that just 3 per cent of all homes sold in the country during the first three months of 2016 were sold to overseas residents.

The breakdown showed that of the 1,158 property transactions included in the 3 per cent, China accounted for 321 of the transactions, making the Chinese the biggest source of overseas buyers purchasing homes in NZ. Australians were second (312), while those from the UK (99) and USA (51) were third and fourth respectively.

The proportion of foreign buyers purchasing a home in the country’s largest city, Auckland, was slightly higher than that seen nationally. Of the 12,000 transaction in Auckland during the first quarter of 2016, 4 per cent – or 474 sales – involved an overseas resident. China again topped the list of foreign buyers (276), followed by Australia (45) and UK (24).

NZ Prime Minister John Key had last month said that a land tax could be slapped on foreign buyers, including Kiwis overseas, if the data shows overseas speculators are fuelling the residential property boom.

The latest housing data for the country shows that as of April 2016 the average property price in the country is NZ$568,058 – up 12 per cent on the same time last year. In Auckland the average price of a property is NZ$942,760 – 16.5 per cent more than it was 12 months previously.

Article by David Fuller