Many thanks to the near 600 real estate agents who a week and a half ago replied to our monthly BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey regarding conditions in the market. The results were released to this emailing list and showed a lift in most measures from where they were in early-December, A record net 35% of respondents said they are seeing more investors, and a near record net 48% said they are seeing more first home buyers.
Upon visiting Auckland this week and even before speaking with a group of Barfoot and Thompson real estate agents of an evening in Newmarket the discussions I had with many people centred around the housing market and how homes are selling at auctions for far more than they had been expecting. A few more anecdotes were thrown my way regarding the presence of Chinese buyers.
In the survey of last week I added a couple of questions quickly just before sending it out regarding whether agents were noticing more or fewer foreign buyers, and if so where they came from. The net outcome was zero and I am unsure how to interpret that so let’s ignore it. But the proportions of foreign buyers by source did yield some useful information.
Nationwide if buyers come from offshore then 27% appear to come from the UK, 24% from China, 22% from Australia, then a mish mash after that. For Auckland the proportions were 45% China, 18% UK, 10% Australia.
However, had I had enough time to design the questions properly I’d have been able to get more useful information regarding specifically the proportion of total sales which appear to be going to offshore buyers, first home buyers, and investors (from wherever). That is what will be in the next survey which will go out to agents on March 11 evening. Then finally we will get a fairly good view as to the role which each of these groups is playing in housing markets nationwide and on a regional basis.
Speaking of China, on Monday I will release two papers on China. The first will be my monthly Growing With China publication. It will contain the usual examination of China’s economy and trade data between NZ and China (they now take 16.8% of our goods exports by value and sent 38% extra holiday-makers our way last year). I’ll also have comments from NZ Trade and Enterprise Regional Director for China Rod McKenzie.
The issue will also contain some thoughts from Richard Fyre of the NZ China Trade Association on ‘Avoiding Disputes in China”, and from Keith Marshall “The Future of NZ’s Education System Relationship With China”.
The second publication will be something I started working on back in September and took time to put the finishing pieces on while on the Gold Coast last month ‘Sources of Western Apprehension about China”. This paper contains a list of 55 reasons why people in the West feel apprehension about China.
On Monday I sent a copy of my new monthly publication ‘Brain Gain NZ” out to my emailing list plus a few outside agencies. If you received it please feel free to send to anyone you know offshore who may be interested. Feedback on the first issue has been tremendous, but the challenge I face is actually getting it in front of the expat community. Going through Kea is unfortunately not an option as they now take sponsorship from another bank. So if you feel you can help in getting it out there please email me. Tony.firstname.lastname@example.org