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With falling property prices at home, Chinese investors are increasingly looking to Australasia to buy property.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced recently new home prices in November had dropped by 3.3 per cent over 2013, the third straight month prices had dropped.
The NBS also announced prices had dropped in 67 of the 70 major cities they monitored.
House prices had been rising by as much as 9.6 per cent in some months in early 2014, but have significantly cooled off as the year closes.
In contrast Chinese investors have been increasingly looking at this part of the world to invest in.
Simon Henry, chief executive of international property website Juwai, which helps Chinese buyers find property overseas, was interviewed recently on TV3’s The Nation.
He told the show New Zealand was now number seven on the top 10 list of countries Chinese investors buy houses in. Australia was second.
He also said Chinese interest in residential New Zealand property would continue to grow.
“We think we’re at the very beginning of the Chinese outbound property cycle,” he said.
“We saw a rather large growth over the last three years. Three years ago it was probably $10 billion globally, last year it was approximately $52 billion globally. We’re seeing a net increase of approximately 15-20 per cent per year expected for 2015-16.”
Cashed-up Chinese buyers had “really just started to look at the world as an emerging opportunity”, he said.
The average Chinese foreign buyer will splash out $1.4 million for a property here, Mr Henry said, around double that of a first-time buyer or domestic buyer.
Juwai has 8500 New Zealand listings, and Mr Henry said Chinese buyers were attracted to New Zealand’s proximity to their home country.
“It’s a similar time zone, it’s only eight or nine hours to travel from China down to Australia or New Zealand, and it’s also, if you’re sending your kids overseas to study, only a two or three hour time difference in terms of telephone calls and contact,” he said.