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International interest in Auckland property market

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, April 22nd, 2015 - 46 comments
Categories: housing, International - Tags: , , , ,

Seems that Auckland property is being marketed in (at least) Malaysia and Singapore in a (presumably new?) advertisement:

Bernard Hickey links to Audio from a Singapore radio station:

Lanthanide in comments transcribed part of that audio [slightly edited here]:

“How would you like people in New Zealand, to give you around half their weekly wages? Now if you happen to own an apartment in Auckland New Zealand, the high rent returns, other people’s money – around half a week’s pay for most people, could be paid to you as rent every week.

Now many people invest in Auckland because of the high demand for rents, there’s no stamp duty, no land tax, and within New Zealand, generally no capital gains tax either. It’s an investors dream, and very affordable.

New apartments in the centre of Auckland can be purchased for as little as $390,000, that’s right, $390,000, and with as little as $2,000 initial deposit, you can secure one today, for yourself as an investment.

If the idea of having people in New Zealand going to work for you, giving you hundreds of dollars a week, paying for your apartment appeals to you – and I’m sure it does – then call 6238 0118 to find out how it’s done. That number again, 6238 0118 call now.”

Kiwis are pretty much being portrayed as international suckers there, and the way we are refusing to address our property crisis it is hard to disagree.

So, expect more fuel to the Auckland property price flames. But don’t worry citizens, because according to our PM:

key-on-housing

46 comments on “International interest in Auckland property market”

  1. Coffee Connoissuer 1

    Yes by Auckland property owners. I wonder John are you perhaps suffering from a conflict of interest on the matter?

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Who is the traitor doing the voice over? Some Quislings come so cheap.

    • Eralc 2.1

      I’ve heard the same guy doing voice-over for investment property ads in Auckland.

  3. dave 3

    Let’s sell them all the leaky homes
    But seriously young new zealanders are being farmed struggling nz tax payers are being farmed through the the rental suppliment but on bright side all is well up on planet key
    The answer is a capital gains tax a ban on none resident buyer,one house per person only and higher interest rates and and loans to 3 time your income only and a 20 percent deposit plus something like labour kiwi build programs and real investment on apprenticeships mop up the young unemployed

    • aerobubble 3.1

      Higher rents drive out skilled staff and make Auckland less productive.
      Worse.
      A risk premium is created by the lack of a capital gains tax, as investors have more money to capitalize.
      Worse.
      Bubbles are appearing globally, due tolots of money looking for a return, and a under performing region under taxed is becoming over inflated by global money.
      Worse.
      The lack of cgt means we all put more of our growth into property, without actually building anything, its means we take investment away from the productive sector.

      So the next time National suggest they understand economics, the economy, or anything fiscal, sneer, days they are dumbnuts

      • aerobubble 3.1.1

        Look a bit of history. We have a senate chamber much like that of ancient Rome. And the poor saps senators write lots of laws they are incapable of understanding all of what they pass. And anyway who was to notice them not taxing cgt, like they had Dunne be revenue minister in both lab and con govts. Essentially they rigged the tax system so upper middle nz could get rich being property developers and so pay more to the building supply companies, who got greedy and start building crap homes. Its called corruption for a reason. And its a consequence of too few MPs.
        Govts could either build a nation up, goto mars etc, or they can misdirect the wealth to elites with cries of victim hood about excessive taxation, over regulation and trust them the money will trick down.

        Thatcherism was always a big corrupt con on the population. Covered at a time when middle east oil would necessarily make low growth impossible. The great lie, was that toryism created a wonderful economic miracle, when it fact its a parasite that has been sucking the cream off the top for the few. The few did not sudden appear, it took thirty years of effort.

    • Tracey 3.2

      we already are. A number of homes are being sold by agents to chinese and other ESL clients that most kiwis would be suspicious of, and getting full market price.

      Also, Peter Barfoot and his agents are trumpeting the importance of getting to overseas markets if you want the best price in Auckland. Their latest letter trumpets 500 Chinese agents with connections out of NZ.

      Peter Thompson, owner of Barfoot and Thompson is a nat supporter and helps them deflect cos the last thing he wants is for house prices in Auckland to drop…

      “Barfoot & Thompson, the largest agent in the nation’s largest city, is going gangbusters, selling a record 420 homes for more than $1.01 million in March.

      Barfoot & Thompson, the largest agent in the nation’s largest city, is going gangbusters, selling a record 420 homes for more than $1.01 million in March.

      Just under a fifth of Auckland properties (300 in total) sold by the agent went for under NZ$500,000

      “There is every reason to anticipate prices will continue to rise,” he said, but refused to be drawn on how much higher.”
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/67644089/new-zealand-property-prices-are-worse-than-in-aussie

      The press constantly highlight the latest incredible price rise for a vendor in Auckland…

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.2.1

        A number of homes are being sold by agents to chinese and other ESL clients that most kiwis would be suspicious of…

        Why would they be suspicious of them? Is Johnny-foreigner inherently suspicious?

        • Tracey 3.2.1.1

          Reading is a skill.

          They are homes kiwis would be suspicious of because kiwis have heard about the leaky home debacle and would recognise some signs, seek a lawyer’s advice and so on. Chinese and other ESL buyers recently arrived have no such historical knowledge and agents won’t offer up the information. So it’s actually the opposite of what you are suggesting.

          • Visubversa 3.2.1.1.1

            Somebody paid $1.17million for the house up the road from me which was divided into two flats without benefit of consent. If run as 2 flats the insurance would be void and when Council catches up with them it will cost them a fortune to put in the required fire protection etc. I don’t know who might be that stupid.

          • Murray Rawshark 3.2.1.1.2

            I actually thought you meant homes were being sold to the Russian Mafia or something like that. A slight re-ordering removes the ambiguity:

            A number of homes that most kiwis would be suspicious of are being sold by agents to chinese and other ESL clients …

  4. les 4

    suckers is definately the right word,but fear not our illustrious P.M is aware of the dangers of us ‘becoming tenants in our own country’.

  5. saveNZ 5

    It is clear the main problem to the massive demand for property in particular Auckland is foreign investment and the easiest solution is to safeguard people coming and investing in NZ having never paid any tax or may not even be a resident or citizen from doing so.

    A foreign person has a massive advantage with generally higher wages and potentially access to much lower interest rates.

    A capital gains tax or stamp duty will not stop this unbridled investment, the only way to stop that demand is to limit access to our property to off shore investors who are not resident here or not citizens. Australia and China have limits to protect their residents, why not NZ?

    Ideas to dampen immigration demand could be..
    Property or land investment is not available as a criteria to gain residency status.
    You have to be a NZ resident to not pay a capital gains tax for 90% of the time you own the asset.
    You much make $50k per year profit and employ 2 NZ citizens or more to enter NZ under the business criteria and gain citizenship. (Oz has something similar).
    You can not own NZ property if you are not a NZ resident for 50% of the time.
    More training and resources put into immigration department.

    The idea should be NZ protects our housing from people who are not even paying taxes or living here but are starting to buy up our country.

    This needs to be done immediately and surely the other parties can put together a private members bill to do this.

    So far solutions seem to be focusing more on ‘punishing and blaming’ the resident Kiwi who owns the property, however the world is a large place, even with higher property taxes this does not stop Kiwis from becoming tenants in our own country with our landlords not even resident or paying taxes in NZ.

    Simply put, foreigners can out buy Resident Kiwis and no tax can stop that.

    • Linda 5.1

      Overseas people can access funds at zero there is no level playing field anylonger
      Sadly no change can come under national and john key does not work for us the only hope for any change is a collapse

    • Linda 5.2

      They should say how would you like your own slave .tax free enslavement of a population in the golden age of the god key
      Of course if new zealand dollar dropped these slave masters would be on the hook

    • dukeofurl 5.3

      Part of the reason for the high kiwi dollar is the inflow of funds to buy houses and flats.

    • Brendon Harre 5.4

      All good ideas SaveNZ and there are many other regulatory reforms that would improve the housing market. But the very first thing is to find some politicians who have the cojones to confront the landlord/house owning constituents and put in a series of reforms that is fair for all. Historically only Labour has ever done this.

      http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?f=subarea%24Drawings+and+Prints+Collection%7Cgenreid%24359990&id=10809&recordNum=0&u=0&t=items&s=a&tc=0&q=&p=0&numResults=20&l=en

      • Murray Rawshark 5.4.1

        “Historically only Labour has ever done this.”

        And the Labour we have now is not the Labour we had historically. The Labour we see today has MPs who own several properties and will not act against their own interests.

    • greywarshark 5.5

      savenz
      That sounds a reasonable and probably practical number of hurdles.. Those who jump that high will be likely to be people who add value to the country which stays here in our hands.

  6. vto 6

    4 million suckers here in these lands competing with 4 billion people elsewhere.

    brainless
    wealthless
    hopeless
    homeless

    • saveNZ 6.1

      @VTO

      4 million suckers in NZ are not suckers, they are or are trying to, get a roof they own over their heads (generally having a job and paying taxes here). There is nothing wrong with that. The goal used to be in NZ to own your own house, not let foreign owners or other’s own your house.

    • Bearded Git 6.2

      7 billion others

    • greywarshark 6.3

      vto
      Just call us lesswhere – or leaseware perhaps? You can have your countrys NZs, provided you pay we funky foreigners and kanny kiwi wealth providers the fee we are charging today for living

  7. esoteric pineapples 7

    One has to admit, the advert is pretty much 100 percent right in its description of the New Zealand housing market. It certainly couldn’t be accused of selling a lie.

  8. vto 8

    when will people realise there is in fact no advantage to high house prices.

    there is no advantage to high capital values of any sort

    there is one sole exception – money lenders..

  9. DH 9

    One of the the worst parts of this, IMO, is that we as a nation have been conned. We’ve been lied to, quite deliberately too.

    In economic terms housing inflation is no different to any other inflation. It’s a lowering of the value of money. We’ve been constantly told that inflation is low and that, as a result, we should save. Well inflation isn’t low, they lie to us quite outrageously.

    It’s a fact that savers have been severely penalised with this housing inflation while borrowers have profited, and it’s the government’s doing. In real money terms the saver has seen their savings cut in half in less than a decade. To add insult to injury the saver has to pay tax on their dividends while the borrower pays naff-all.

    If you’re a renter consider this. Rent makes up 9.22% of the consumer price index. That’s right, nine percent. What that means is if rents go up ten percent across the country the CPI goes up by only 0.922%. And the govt will still crow about low inflation. For the renter who’s paying 50% of their income in rent their own CPI would go up 5% just from rents alone but the govt doesn’t care about them.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Yeah – remember how the possibility of a little wage price inflation in the 70’s was trumpeted as some kind of communist inspired economic Armageddon?

      But faced with an asset price inflation an order of magnitude greater – and no-one says boo. You could not be faced with clearer evidence of a collective belief that it’s good for the rich to get richer and that the poor must stay poor. I don’t think the blame for this lies with National; they merely represent the values of at least 50% of the people living in this country. (I hesitate to call them New Zealanders – frankly they shame me.)

      And if you’re worth a few tens of millions like Key – I guess ‘overpriced’ is just a matter of perspective.

  10. Lanthanide 10

    The ad itself I think is a bit weird. It’s got this conversational tone to it, but it’s also quite ungrammatical at the same time. I think it’s possible to have a conversational advert without being ungrammatical.

  11. Bearded Git 11

    mmmmm Stamp Duty…..Land Tax……I hope Mr. Little is listening.

    Both are taxes that are relatively easy to administer, say on houses worth more than $750k.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Yeah no probs even with CGT if there is a limit of capital value on all housing, including the sacred family home. (With the rider that there will be an automatic annual rise in the cap of the CPI or 5%, whichever is the highest. That would ensure that the house value down’t get out of whack over the years.)

  12. saveNZ 12

    Christine Rose made some interesting points recently

    1 Housing availability through land supply doesn’t necessarily lead to housing affordability.

    2 The study found the main reason owners of vacant, residentially zoned sites weren’t developing their land, was because the benefits of holding on for later speculative profits outweighed financial and building risks and development costs.

    3 TV programmes like ‘The Block’, and ‘Our First Home’ celebrate quick and dirty property speculation and the resulting capital gains, trading houses like they’re disposable commodities

    4 The Reserve Bank refers to the ‘tax preferred status of housing, especially investor-related housing”, driving speculation, and prices up.

    Auckland is such a hot spot due to rampant foreign or recently resident immigrants which seems to be the elephant in the room.

    You can put up taxes all you want it is still a good deal for those investors and in some cases acts as a money laundering exercise. i.e.

    1/ Raise interest rates – often does not affect immigrants as they have cash saving and access to lower interest loans.

    2/ crash the market. – Makes it cheaper for immigrants to buy up here see above.

    3/ Introduce CGT, again if immigrants or foreign residents are buying for long term then a capital gains tax will not affect them if they don’t sell, or if it is their family home again no CGT.

    4/Stamp duty – will affect them, but again property here will still often represent a good deal.

    5/Make them buy new houses or develop apartments – again there needs to be greater use of urban design standards in NZ, more safeguards with RMA (not less), many of the shonky developments with unusual aesthetics (think Nelson ST, CBD) still devaluing the area and driving people out of the centre. Often the developments can become ponzi schemes in their own countries so that developments collapse and NZ is left with a big undeveloped hole or substandard standards, that the ratepayers have to clean up when it leaks and the company that built it along with it’s shareholders disapears. (obviously a local developer problem too but at least you can find them).

    6/WOF rentals – yep good idea, but do local investors have the 20k per house to invest to upgrade (90% of kiwi houses failed a test run) or will they just sell cheap to the migrants coming in with cash to burn? When the Salvation Army says they can’t afford to be a landlord then who can, on local wages?

    My fear is that many of the schemes being discussed as solutions to the property boom are going to benefit immigrants more than locals. In a Crosby Textor scenario where the solution becomes more of a problem for residents and a chance to buy cheaper for non residents means more Kiwis end up being tenants not owners.

    In the Uk the squatting laws were actually designed of this as much of the property around London was left empty owned by a small group of people. That is the risk in NZ.

    I personally would like to see the Greens re think their property policy and discourse away from just a CGT into a holistic solution that makes home ownership in NZ a reality and safeguards housing for residents in this country.

    I would also like to see Labour have a similar policy.

    • Brendon Harre 12.1

      SaveNZ I think converting LG rates from capital value to land value is better than either stamp duty or capital gains taxes. There is no escaping it, it gives a steady return to local or central government.

      It gently encourages more productive use of land which will favour active local owners rather than absentee owners, which surely is a problem of foreign ownership. It does this by charging neighbouring sections, of the same size, the same amount of tax regardless of what else (capital) is on the land.

      So if one section is left in a munted condition in say Christchurch because the owner is targeting capital gain while the neighbour at some expense builds some hopefully desirable type of high density housing because they are targeting rental return or profits from the sale of this new housing they both pay the same land value tax.

      In other words their is no penalty for being productive.

      I also agree their also needs to be limits on foreign purchase of property, because this problem is just getting too big.

      • saveNZ 12.1.1

        @Brendon
        I take you point but I think that the land tax idea will not work. That is because the reason people are not building is that it is too expensive, risky and time consuming in this country. More people would want a building on land so they can get income from it from rents. The problem is the cost of building (and connection to infrastructure) is just so expensive.

        To give an example say you had a piece of land and wanted to put a minor dwelling on it, to rent out, for ageing parents, children or what have you. At present to just connect to water mains would cost approx $12,000 as a one off fee, if you were in the country a septic tank would cost upwards of $13,000. These prices do not even reflect the cost of connection which would be upwards of $2000 usually. You would pay a council contribution of $7500 for a 2nd dwelling. Then the dwelling, building, electrical, engineering, driveway, council and resource consent fees, it is not worth doing as the expected rent might be $300 a week. The figures do not work (unless you are looking to sell). That is why people get the consents but often do not build.

        It is the building costs in this country that are out of control.

        Also we are an agricultural and forestry and farming nation. So if we start putting on more land taxes then people can’t afford to service the rates bill and have to sell up.

        Again if an offshore investor comes in, they can buy the property and service the rates etc from higher wages overseas.

        What about people with natural resources on their land? They will not be able to afford to keep them? Lakes, rivers, wetlands, bush all costing money with land taxes.

        A land tax is not the answer, it will destroy industry and environment in this county and make housing less affordable.

        Politicians need to look at ways to bring living costs down, not more taxes to make people poorer!

        I think that immigration controls on property, combined with strategies to bring down the cost of building a house, and increasing wages in this country is the answer.

        People living here can’t afford the basics, food, water, power and housing and this is due to the low wages, and neoliberal economics. More taxes on property is not going to help anyone afford a property.

      • saveNZ 12.1.2

        @Brendon

        To give you an example my mother who is 65 owns her own house but is on a benefit. She can barely afford rates let alone a land tax. Many home owners are also on limited incomes.

        To increase home ownership costs will put many kiwis into hardship and decrease home ownership by people on low and middle incomes.

        Property is not such a big problem outside of Auckland, so the answer is what is going on in Auckland (i.e. immigration) and how to change that.

        Why should residents of Auckland and the rest of NZ have to pay for immigration in Auckland, which is fuelled by the Nat government stand to make property investment a resident criteria for foreign investment!!

        It really isn’t that hard a problem to solve!

        • Brendon Harre 12.1.2.1

          SaveNZ if we implemented land value taxes it would replace rates which is a land + capital values tax. So in total the same amount of taxes would be collected. So changing to LVT would help some people and penalise others. I would argue it helps the productive.

          You need to think carefully about it. Take two identical farms -one has a hard working farmer and the other a lazy one. The hard working farmer puts a lot of time and effort to upgrade the farm -so it has higher capital value. Under land value taxes he would pay the same amount of tax as the lazy farmer. Wheras under the current land + capital rating system the productive farmer reinvesting back into his farm is penalised with higher a higher rates bill.

          A similiar argument can be developing urban areas.

    • Murray Rawshark 12.2

      The first thing to be done is to ban sales to non-residents. I’d go so far as banning ownership as well, with a state buyback scheme at the price they paid plus 1% for goodwill. Then we need to put a limit of two on the number of properties anyone can own. Then we need to build a shitload of state houses. Tinkering will not fix anything and the whole pyramid scheme is going to crash anyway, so let’s get some control first.

  13. saveNZ 13

    Instead of property I would like to see new immigrants invest in other business ventures like the tech industry, super yacht/ boat building, climate change initiatives, or the like. And also using local labour and paying taxes locally.

    I am pro immigration in NZ – just not for buying up our food and housing supply as an off shore investment.

  14. greywarshark 14

    Thanks for the post Anthony. I saw the advertisement displayed on the TV3 site. It gave me a jot and luckily TS is considering the matter. And what intelligent ideas are arising!

    Perhaps they could be sprinkled over Nick Smith’s head like fairy dust turning him from a toad to a clever prince of practical policy. Hearing his fast, confident delivery of NACT policy this morning coming so smoothly seemed like propaganda that his brain absorbs at night while he sleeps.

  15. Sabine 15

    Well here is Mr. Gareth Morgan self confessed Tax evader would like to see more taxes levied that he could then evade thanks to loopholes and good accountants.

    it these are the people that are framing our discourse, 95% of this countries population is going to be homeless living under of Nationals ghost bridges.

    http://garethsworld.com/blog/tax-and-welfare/how-to-cope-with-political-impotency-on-the-housing-problem/

    • saveNZ 15.1

      But Sabine, you can move to Northland 10 new bridges to live under!
      What are you complaining about:)

  16. saveNZ 16

    New Zealand migration hit a new annual record in March, as more students arrived from India and China and fewer locals left for Australia.

    The country had a net gain of 56,275 migrants in the year through March, 75 per cent higher than the 31,914 gain in the year earlier period, Statistics New Zealand said. Migrant arrivals were 16 per cent ahead of the year earlier period, while departures declined 13 per cent, the agency said.

    New Zealand annual migration has broken records for an eighth consecutive month as the nation’s economic prospects appear brighter than in many other countries. That’s helping stoke economic activity, pushing up demand for housing and cars while also reducing pressure on wage inflation by boosting the supply of labour.

    Sum up of affects.

    Ie migrations seems to be pushing up demand for housing and cars.

    Reducing wages for locals.

    This doesn’t even include the off shore investors in the mix who are investing in property here without migrating here.

    So lets not punish the locals anymore and do what most other countries do, have controls on housing as an investment for foreign investments and migrants.

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