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The non-resident property speculators are….?

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 am, July 30th, 2013 - 50 comments
Categories: capitalism, david shearer, democracy under attack, housing, john key, national, news, overseas investment, slippery, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

An NZ Herald (anonymous) editorial, spells out the problem for Shearer in the way opponents of his policy will attempt to brand it as racist.  For once the usually Nat leaning Herald exposes some of the Nat spin, albeit with some backhanders and hits against the left.  The article begins by saying that any government proposing restrictions on “foreign investment in residential property” would be accused of racism.  Then it focuses on Shearer’s announcement of such a policy:

Parties of the left are less vulnerable than the right to accusations of racism, if only because left-leaning parties make the accusation more fiercely. National calls this policy “xenophobic” but it is a charge Mr Shearer wears with ease.

He urgently needs a popular policy to call his own and this one will do him no harm.

Actually, it’s that people on the left are more sincerely opposed to racism.

The editorial argues:

To have his policy taken seriously, Mr Shearer first needs to show that foreign-domiciled buyers are a significant force in the housing market. The only available figures, obtained from a survey of agents by the BNZ and the Real Estate Institute, suggests non-residents account for around 9 per cent of sales. The agents say the largest number are Australians, who would be exempt from Labour’s ban.

The survey result is generally disbelieved. The agents may have under-reported the proportion of sales to overseas buyers, or many foreign buyers may have someone in their family resident here for at least part of the year.

It goes on to argue that it will be difficult to identify which property is purchased by overseas buyers who don’t reside in NZ.  however, other countries manage such a policy.

However, a lot of the spin in the MSM focuses on Asian home buyers.  Yet, the website that Jonolist award winner, Patrick Gower used to support such claims, targets South African buyers.  It is NZ Property Connections website:

NZ Connections website

And, if the site’s images are anything to go by, the focus is certainly not on Black South African investors.

NZ Connections website section

To be clear, if you can’t read the small print above, it says:

Our vision

At NZ Property Connections we’re committed to helping South African investors maximise value from their Rand. By using our qualified network of professionals in both South Africa and New Zealand, South Africans looking to buy property in New Zealand will find the purchasing process simple and cost-effective.

Our vision – to create a safe, simple return on investment for South African real estate buyers in New Zealand.

Request a call back for more information. 

And the website spells out why NZ is a good place for overseas buyers to invest in the property market:

NZ Property Connetions Why NZ

That is:

Why New Zealand?

Consider your priorities when looking for an investment. We all want something that’s going to make us money – preferably something that’s easy to invest in, with minimal stress and minimal input.

New Zealand ticks all these boxes and more.

Its currency is historically at a lower value than, for example, Australia. Its business environment is transparent and regulated. Growth in property value has been driven by solid demand rather than investor speculation. Rental returns are consistent and at a relatively high level making cash-flat investment yields viable.

Plus, it’s easy for South African investors to enter the market.

NZ Property Connections can help you extract your Rand from South Africa to put into the security of New Zealand property. Controversial political conditions, economic difficulties, a volatile currency and an uncertain future in South Africa are making more and more residents look off-shore for options for both investing and settling. 

So why invest in New Zealand real estate? Here’s why

  • No capital gains tax
  • No transfer duty
  • 80% property finance available
  • Few barriers to purchasing
  • Realistic timeframes and costs for purchasing
  • Excellent rental returns
  • Growth driven by solid demand

In Patrick Gower’s highly manipulative and slanted 3 News report last night, “NZ Property Connections” is shown on screen while Gower says:

Shearer wants to stop websites like this that advertise directly to foreign buyers.

So, what would be anti-Asian about preventing such marketing?

And how hard would it be to outlaw such promotions targeting non resident overseas property speculators?

50 comments on “The non-resident property speculators are….? ”

  1. Sable 1

    Yep right wing mainstream press have the bullshit generator at full power as per usual.

  2. yeshe 2

    Thx Karol … question, please, if you can .. did we not previously have law that disallowed any property purchases by non-residents? I seem to recall it was changed long ago under a Nat govt .. ?

    • karol 2.1

      I think they tightened up overseas investment regulations, and that includes land investment:

      Do I Need Consent to Invest in New Zealand?

      You may need to apply to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) for consent if you are an overseas person, or an associate of an overseas person, and you wish to acquire:

      sensitive land or an interest in sensitive land (e.g. by buying shares in a company that owns sensitive land), or
      business assets worth more than $100 million, or
      fishing quota or an interest in fishing quota.

  3. Tom Gould 3

    Compare these ‘news’ reports:

    Chook: How much will a Korea NZ FTA be worth to us?
    Key: Oh, billions. Gotta be. It’s a big economy.
    Chook: Thank you, Prime Minister, sounds great.

    Or …

    Chook: How much will a Kiwibuild house cost?
    King: Depends where it is, if it’s a house or terrace or apartment, how many bedrooms, what it’s build of, but the aim is they will affordable for average families.
    Chook: So you can’t say exactly what one of these houses will cost? How can anyone trust a word you say?

    • muzza 3.1

      Still no-one questions, the myth of export lead recoveries….They don’t exist, not in NZ history, anyway!

    • tricledrown 3.2

      hows your band going tom welcome to mugabKey country!

  4. Tamati 4

    Looking at the Property Connection website, it seems their focus is more on holiday homes for South Africans rather than purely financial investment. There are a couple of clearly investment properties in places like Invercargil, but most are in Queenstown and are clearly marketed as lifestyle properties for wealthy South Africans. (Hardly out bidding young couples after their first home!)

    Secondly, I can hardly think of anything more stressful and risky than buying a residential rental property in another coutry. Pretty hard to check up on your tenants when they are an eight hour flight away!

    • vto 4.1

      “most are in Queenstown and are clearly marketed as lifestyle properties for wealthy South Africans. (Hardly out bidding young couples after their first home!)”

      Yep, no problems with locals and workers being able to buy a home for their family in Queenstown is there Tamati. It is cheap as there….. Wake up dozey. Queenstown is the perfect microcosm of this exact problem. It is illustrated in all its glory in Queenstown – thanks for the highlight.

      • insider 4.1.1

        I suspect Christchurch residents have far greater influence on prices. The schools bulged after the earthquake due to relocations to the family baches.

        • vto 4.1.1.1

          Rubbish insider. Firstly, if they relocated to their baches then there was zero further demand for other homes wasn’t there. Secondly, that bulge manifested in many small towns around the SI, including Wanaka. Less so Qtn, except for those already with homes there. And that short bulge is now over. Your argument doesn’t stack.

          Watch Queenstown during the next bust if this policy is in place. It will be spectacular!

          • insider 4.1.1.1.1

            You misunderstood. I meant the ongoing prices in qtown are likely far more influenced by the regular sales to people from chch than by occasional sales to jaapies.

            • vto 4.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s not my experience. Not now nor in the past. Queenstown has a higher proportion of foreign owners, hence the magnified effect there. Chch has been a blip.

              Although most Qtn sales are to Southlanders – and when Southland finally cedes and becomes its own nation with 25% of our primary exports what will we do?

            • vto 4.1.1.1.1.2

              That’s not my experience. Not now nor in the past. Queenstown has a higher proportion of foreign owners, hence the magnified effect there. Chch has been a blip.

              Although most Qtn sales are to Southlanders – and when Southland finally cedes and becomes its own nation with 25% of our primary exports what will we do?

              • Tamati

                You’re right that many of the million dollar properties overlooking the lake are either owned abroad, or by wealthy Aucklanders. But these aren’t the houses used by the Queenstown locals. They mostly live away from the lake up the valleys, in much more affordable properties.

                Effectively there are two parallel markets, rich foreigners aren’t competing for property with most of the locals.

                • vto

                  Sheesh Tamati. Why do you think the locals have to live in the backblocks? Is it because all the plumb and more habitable home spots have been bid up by foreigners? Who the locals can’t compete with?

                  You have just done it again and gone and argued perfectly against your own position. That’s quite something.

                  Hopefully you can now see the significant advantages of this policy.

                  • Tamati

                    Because if there weren’t wealthy people who visited Queenstown, many of the locals wouldn’t have job.

                    What first time home buyers want are four walls and roof. Million dollar views of lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables aren’t high on the agenda.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Because if there weren’t wealthy people who visited Queenstown, many of the locals wouldn’t have job.

                      Bullshit

                      Queenstown economy would have developed in a far more natural and community oriented way without them.

                    • Tamati

                      If you are trying to tell me tourism isn’t important to the Queenstown economy then I have a bridge to sell you.

                    • vto

                      “Because if there weren’t wealthy people who visited Queenstown, many of the locals wouldn’t have job.”

                      The wealthy will still visit Queenstown. Point fail.

                      “What first time home buyers want are four walls and roof. Million dollar views of lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables aren’t high on the agenda.”

                      Again Tamati, if the foreigners are not able to buy those spots then they wont be million dollar views will they. That is why they aren’t high on the agenda – they cant compete with foreigners. If they were more affordable then the locals would live in those spots for the exact same reasons as the foreigners i.e. they are the most favourable human habitation locales in the locale. Point fail.

                      Surely now? Now that it has happened a third time? Can you see the advantages of this policy?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      try reading what I actually wrote, tamati, instead of talking about your own imaginary points.

                    • Tamati

                      I can see the policy may have some effect in Auckland, but very little without other significant reforms.

                      If you ever lived in Queenstown (as I did) you would know there are numerous wealthy Brits and Americans who live there for a few months a year and contribute significantly to the economy. They don’t want to stay in the Hilton for three months straight.

                      Secondly, if you kicked all the foreigners out of Queenstown I’m sure properties with “million dollar views” would be significantly cheaper, but then half the town would be out of a job.

                    • Tamati

                      “natural and community orientated” a.k.a. sleepy ghost town of 500.

                    • insider

                      According to this qtown real estate agent, 15% of sales were to foreigners. Most were local or near local to the town http://stevelindsay.co.nz/

                    • vto

                      “I can see the policy may have some effect in Auckland, but very little without other significant reforms.”

                      Yes agreed and those other reforms are slowly being attended to. The nats plan to release more land. Labour plans to reinstate a form os state housing. Plans to ban foreign ownership. Capital gains tax. Multi-pronged attack. Check out the effects in 5-10 years…

                      “If you ever lived in Queenstown (as I did) you would know there are numerous wealthy Brits and Americans who live there for a few months a year and contribute significantly to the economy. They don’t want to stay in the Hilton for three months straight.”

                      I know the place intimately tamati. Those foreigners you just mention wont be affected. They don’t have to stay in the Hilton just as they don’t now. There will be bucketloads of high quality short term 3 month type accommodation available as there is now. Really mate, you seem to keep pointing out things that argue against your position.

                      “Secondly, if you kicked all the foreigners out of Queenstown I’m sure properties with “million dollar views” would be significantly cheaper, but then half the town would be out of a job.”

                      They are not being kicked out, they are being prevented from becoming owners of residential property. As for being out of a job, please my point just above answering this.

                      Next

                    • vto

                      insider “According to this qtown real estate agent, 15% of sales were to foreigners. Most were local or near local to the town http://stevelindsay.co.nz/

                      It has already been acknowledged that most buyers are local, anywhere in NZ. This misses the particular point.

                      15% is much higher than everywhere else in the country. A 5-10% drop in demand in any mature marketplace is significant. A 15% is very significant. It will have a more dramatic effect in Queenstown.

                      Thanks for pointing that out, very helpful.

                    • infused

                      How many of you have actually gone to Queenstown?

                      I have gone there a few times now and love the place. Normal housing there is just like any other place. The massively expensive places are log homes or lifestyle blocks, or something with a view.

                      The so called apartments are located on Queenstown hill. What do you expect?

                      Tamati is right, most of the housing directly in Queenstown center is in the valley.

                      Queens town is all tourism CV. I love the place. Every single night, people out until midnight easily. Awesome atmosphere.

                      “Wrong again Tamati, if the foreigners are not able to buy those spots then they wont be million dollar views will they.”

                      Nope, you’re wrong. The difference is NZ’ers would own million dollar views (rich nzers).

                      Queenstown is a place like no other.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Fuck that’s totally irrelevant. But I guess it reinforces the point that the place has become a transient resort town for well off holidayers.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If you ever lived in Queenstown (as I did) you would know there are numerous wealthy Brits and Americans who live there for a few months a year and contribute significantly to the economy.

                      this is just a bad joke

                      we’re acting like service providing serfs in our own country

                      and they own houses which should go to locals instead of sitting empty 90% of the year

                    • tricledrown

                      tamati we are talking non residents here .
                      Local workers can’t afford anything much bigger than a closet it wouldn’t do any harm in Queenstown at all quiet the reverse tenant workers would take up the slack and have money left over to spend in shops. couch surfing is the only way low wage locals can live in Queenstown!
                      While the wealthy laud it!
                      Even these socold apartments you speak of are going for over $400,000 each if you can get one.
                      so banning non resident speculators would boost the economy for the locals1

    • karol 4.2

      The Property Connections site mostly focuses on property as investment. It partly focuses on holiday homes and possible settlement. But it also promotes the returns they will get from renting the property.

      Rental property in New Zealand is booming.
      It’s easy for South African property purchasers to take advantage of this to achieve capital gains and solid returns.
      There are two easy options for achieving returns from your property – long term and short term management.

      […]
      If the property is a pure investment then long term tenants can be put in place. These tenancy agreements are normally for a minimum period of 3 to 12 months and provide a stable rental income.
      […]

      The Hot Properties page has mostly Queenstown properties, but also some in Invercargill and Auckland.

      But these are just the top of the range ones they are using to promote their services.

      They are Queenstown based, but they have a page devoted to Auckland properties.

      Playing host to the largest property market in New Zealand, Auckland has a large supply of investment properties both as stand alone homes, and apartments of varying sizes and price points appealing to different markets. Areas within Auckland vary dramatically in socio-economic levels and in ability to provide a rental return and capital gain.

      And, question:
      do any of these segments/locations for the property market exist in isolation from each other? When overseas investors push up the prices of high value properties, don’t they have an effect of driving up prices all down the chain? – especially if they are buying the property to gain a profit from renting?

      • Tamati 4.2.1

        From what I see, the website is mainly focused on the holiday home market. Hence all the beautiful scenery shots. Could only find one Auckland property on the site, perhaps they have more though.

        To answer your question.

        The segments are reasonably isolated from each other. Those up on the hill with the nice views are expensive, the cold houses in the valley and away from town are cheap. (I rented one for a couple of months and worked as ski tow operator). Obviously exceptions to this rule and in ski season the rentals go through the roof!

        • tricledrown 4.2.1.1

          tamati how long ago was that!
          I haven’t seen a property for sale in Queenstown under $400’000 for a long time!
          I go to Queenstown a few times a year and have friends their renting its a nightmare making a living is even worse they live very meagre lives except the professionals who cream it!

    • karol 4.3

      more on holiday homes for South Africans rather than purely financial investment.

      It looks to me that it’s more likely to be the other way around: i.e. that the primary reason for buying will be in order to generate some income/profit:

      Short-term management
      Alternatively you can use your property for your own personal accommodation when visiting New Zealand on holiday and still obtain a return by letting it out on a short term basis. This is a viable option in a high tourist and holiday destination such as Queenstown, Nelson and parts of Auckland. These short term tenants are usually for 3 to 7 nights and pay a higher nightly rate. Generally a high quality property in the right location will provide strong bookings and solid income –plus of course the flexibility to use the property when you want it.

      And that short term rent “income” will be going to South Africa, and will therefore be a loss for the NZ tourist industry.

  5. karol 5

    Interesting that today in Question Time, during Question One, Shearer seems to be quoting from the NZ Property Connections website (as in my post above).

    David Shearer : Is he aware that property companies are advertising Kiwi homes offshore, with sales pitches like: “Why New Zealand property? No capital gains tax, no transfer duty, few barriers to purchasing, so what are you waiting for?”; if so, why will not he put Kiwi home buyers ahead of offshore speculators?

    But, Key then skews the answer to talk about Asian property buyers:

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Firstly, as I have said, actually the rules have not changed. They are the very same rules that were in place when Labour was in office. But, interestingly enough, I noted from downtown Seoul the policy suggestions of Mr Shearer. If that is the case, that offshore buyers are in fact the people who are driving the process, interestingly enough the architect of that policy we all know is not the Labour Party caucus, but Tony Alexander of the BNZ, and this is what Tony Alexander says about the very problem that the member is saying is a problem: “Here is a growing visceral perception that Chinese buyers are snapping up NZ houses, leaving them empty, pushing up prices, and making homeownership more difficult for Kiwis. The data”—

  6. Binders full of women 6

    What a doozie from Shearer.. it leaves out the two biggest groups of ‘non resident home speculators’- Aussies and Kiwis. A bit like that CGT kerfuffle.. what was it “gambling yes and jewelry no- or jewelry yes and gambling no’???

    • karol 6.1

      As i understand it, Aussies are exempt from the Labour policy, just as kiwis are exempt from the similar Aussie policy.

      As I understand it, Labour’s policy would prevent non NZ citizens or residents from buying property in NZ.

      So, not a doozy from Shearer, you are just ill informed.

      • Binders full of women 6.1.1

        “As I understand it, Labour’s policy would prevent non NZ citizens or residents from buying property in NZ.”

        So you think that non NZ residents would be prevented from buying house in NZ in this Labour Policy? Does this include the many NZ citizens who live abroad but choose to be non-residents (mainly for tax purposes)? See why I am confused/ill informed?

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          No. Read what I said. It doesn’t include NZ citizens living overseas. That’s the way such policies work in other countries like Aussie.

          However, if they are living overseas to avoid playing taxes to NZ, who cares if they are prevented from buying property in NZ. Though I’d question whether there are very many Kiwis living outside NZ to avoid taxes.

          The Aussie system:

          The FIRB assesses applications from foreigners who would like to invest or buy a home in Australia. If you would like to buy real estate in Australia either to live in or as an investment then you may be required to obtain FIRB approval.
          […]
          Who does not need approval?

          Australian citizen

          If you are an Australian expat living overseas or Australian Citizen living in Australia:
          You do not need approval from the FIRB.
          You can buy a new property, existing property or vacant land.
          You can live in the property or it can be an investment.

          Permanent resident

          If you are a foreign national who has a permanent residency visa:
          You do not need approval from the FIRB.
          You can buy a new property, existing property or vacant land.
          You can live in the property or it can be an investment.

          New Zealand citizen

          If you are a New Zealand citizen:
          You do not need approval from the FIRB.
          You can buy a new property, existing property or vacant land.
          You can live in the property or it can be an investment.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2

          Hmmmm if you read the sentence

          “As I understand it, Labour’s policy would prevent non NZ citizens or residents from buying property in NZ.”

          it’s very clear and answers your question

  7. Eon 7

    Down here on the Westcoast so many Afrikaners have moved in they won National the seat.. they have a disproportionate amount of wealth and disposable income that have skewered property and traditional values and ways of life. Even the Sunday Church sermons are in two languages, English and Afrikaans.. WTF, Why are we recruiting extreme right wing racists as immigrants, who totally can not relate to our culture and heritage.

    • millsy 7.1

      Yes, people forget that the immigrants bring their attitudes over as well. A few weeks ago I read about how a Chinese employers wrote about how he pays his workers below the min. wage because that is what they are worth. The Chinese dont belive in social welfare or publicly funded health and education services. Essentially their attitude is very social darwinist. And if workers form a trade union or go on strike, they are used to just picking up the phone and calling up the local PLA garrison.

      As for the Yarpies, people forget that Apartheid South Africa was a very conservative state. Not only were blacks forbidden from pissing in the same toilets as whites, but it also banned pornography, booze, abortion, extramarital sex, gambling, and all that. We have to ask ourselves if we really want the Dutch Reformed Church gaining a creeping influence into our lives, via the Conservative Party.

      • DavidC 7.1.1

        millsy.
        I certianly dont want the Govt or anyone else telling anyone who or what they can worship or what political party they can belong to.
        You may not like the Conservatives or the DRC, but fuck you and yours, you dont get to choose for others.

        • Rosetinted 7.1.1.1

          We can decide what parties there will be, there are threshholds for that, we can dislike unpleasant cultures from dominating our country, we can forbid rabid n..s or be concerned about nation.l front types. To be concerned about anti-community parties, or ones dominated by a lobby of the wealthy who pursue their own desires is wise and not to be complacent about. And there is no reason why people should be sworn at for expressing this concern.

        • tricledrown 7.1.1.2

          fundamentalists religions should be spied on not likely from National as most of their support base are fundamentalist fuck wits.
          Mugabkey for PM

    • Murray Olsen 7.2

      The problem is, Eon, that there have always been Kiwis who share much of the cultural filth of the worst of the Boers. The response to that stupid Facebook stunt, the Pakeha Party, showed this once again. During the years of racist rugby tours, Murray Mexted claimed blacks don’t like water, so excluding them from white only beaches was not a real problem. The way to fight these pricks is by strengthening our own values and showing them that they are relics of an unwanted past. I hate the fact that enough of us are racist still that these Boer pricks actually feel at home in Aotearoa. On the other hand, we are lucky to have some South African immigrants who have been fighting their crap for years.

    • richard 7.3

      What a load of tosh. How many South Africans have moved to the West Coast?

      • Colonial Viper 7.3.1

        You a Coaster?

      • Eon 7.3.2

        Yes Dick I am a coaster.. I live in the Buller and travel extensively on the whole westcoast.. WTF.. how am I going to know the number of Sth Africans.. but for starters we had a Sth African technocrat running our essential service’s in the Buller into the ground.. cocked up the sewerage and stormwater.. stuffed our drinking water.. most in Westport buy bottled water now.. As this guy did a runner to OZ.. there’s one less.. However we now have another one as the main administrator.. under a CEO who commutes from Nelson.. Like our current National govt; operate behind closed doors, excluding us ratepayers and with no tranparecy at all.. As for the church services being in English and Afrikaans.. this is from further down the Grey and Hokitika.. where it was reported in the Greymouth Star.. I read it with my own eyes in mid 2012… do ya own research and you’ll find a disproportionate number own those new big flash mansions on the hills in the Awatuna Hokitika area.. What are you a real estate sleezebag

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