27 Jul 2016

Politicians slam deal for more NZ house ads in China

8:24 pm on 27 July 2016

Ray White Real Estate, which is aiming to advertise more New Zealand homes in China, shares the public's concerns about house prices, it says - prompting scepticism from opposition MPs.

Winston Peters on the bridge at Parliament.

The real estate agency's move is a kick in a teeth for New Zealand residents who want to buy homes, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Ray White has partnered with Chinese real estate company Lianjia, also known as Homelink, to give it access to several hundred million potential Chinese buyers.

A spokesperson said it was not the case that every New Zealand property it was selling would be advertised in China - but vendors would have the opportunity to do so.

Chinese buyers interested in purchasing in Australasia would be directed to Ray White through the partnership too.

A Ray White spokesperson said: "We share some of the same concerns around affordability that have been expressed by New Zealand nationals ... and the lack of restrictions around foreign buyer activity in New Zealand give many people reason for concern."

The spokesperson said it would nevertheless be remiss of the company not to "explore and embark on international partnerships".

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said Ray White's actions were just the latest kick in the teeth for New Zealanders wanting to buy a home.

"Ray White is marketing to 260 million Chinese in 25 cities," Mr Peters said.

"My take on that is that this government is doing nothing about the crisis with respect to massive demand for housing in Auckland at all, and this just more evidence of it."

The housing crisis was about to get worse, he said.

Labour leader Andrew Little was doubtful about the real estate company's sincerity.

"They're a commercial operator - they're in it for a buck," he said.

"If they shared the concerns that many New Zealanders had, they wouldn't be marketing New Zealand properties in China. The reality is it's the non-resident offshore buyers who are putting undue upward pressure on house prices - especially in Auckland."