31 May NZ hot property around the world
By EMMA PAGE – Sunday Star Times
Last month a third of all session searches on leading property website realestate.co.nz were from outside New Zealand – with increasing interest from Spain, China, Russia and the United Emirates.
The property website lists houses for sale and rent in New Zealand and last month had 134,604 session visits from people looking at properties for sale and 25,902 from those interested in renting. Chief executive Alistair Helm said monitoring where the searches originated revealed intriguing trends.
The proportion of international visitors to the site has grown from 25 percent to 30 percent in the two years since it launched, largely in response to the website’s growth and increasing visibility in Google searches.
The bulk of overseas visits to the site had consistently come from Australia, the UK and the US. But more recently there was a large jump in the numbers of curious visitors from Spain and China – representing a 200 percent increase in traffic. Visits from people in Russia and the United Arab Emirates had also increased.
Helm said he expected some of the increased traffic came from expats who had been attracted to working in places such as Dubai but were now returning to New Zealand.
The interest from China and Russia was likely to be a response to increasing wealth in those countries. Helm thought the 2007 America’s Cup races in Valencia may have raised Spain’s awareness of New Zealand.
Latest figures show net migration in New Zealand has climbed to the highest level in five years, with permanent and long-term arrivals exceeding departures in April on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Helm said international interest in the rental market was also high, perhaps suggesting that immigrants were looking to rent first before buying.
New Zealand property is also well represented on overseas websites such as the UK’s www.rightmove.co.uk, which last week had 386 Kiwi properties, including a listing for apartments in Manukau which sung the praises of the South Auckland city’s blend of urban, rural and seaside communities, “just 20 minutes from downtown Auckland”.
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