4 Feb 2015

Chinese interest in NZ property remains high

7:32 am on 4 February 2015

Chinese businesspeople are expected to buy more New Zealand properties this year as China's own housing market cools.

A weaker New Zealand dollar, more Chinese awareness of New Zealand and looser currency controls in China could all buoy property prices this year, analysts have said.

Auckland real estate agent Kathy Ying said more Chinese were looking to invest here as property prices had begun to decline at home.

She has had a lot of interest already this year from Chinese businesses wanting to buy office buildings, dairy farms and sub-dividable land.

And Chinese buyers accounted for half the commercial property sales at her company's office in Auckland last year, said Ms Ying.

Chinese investors see New Zealand as affordable, she said.

"I know that it's skyrocket high prices in Shanghai, but New Zealand to them is very, very cheap."

Chinese companies invested $885 million in this country for the year to September.

Figures from Land Information show approved land purchases jumped to 10,989 hectares last year, up from 53 hectares in 2010.

Chinese were often investing because they had fallen in love with New Zealand, Ms Ying said.

"When they first come to New Zealand, they're amazed with New Zealand, the pure clean air, the water, and the whole environment."

Chinese have become a lot more aware of the New Zealand property market over the last three to five years, according to Auckland property lawyer, Vivian Zhang.

Auckland apartments have recently been promoted for pre-sale in Shanghai and Beijing, she said.

"They are doing a huge promotion in China ... especially in China's major cities."

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