The commercial property market in New Zealand has long been buoyant, but a huge boom is expected in the industry due to lucrative new investment from the Chinese market. But why is this boom expected now? And what impact will it have on our already successful real estate markets?
A Release of Chinese Equity
The second phase of the Qualified Domestic Individual Investor (QDII2) programme implemented by the Chinese Government will come into effect this month. This programme removes certain restrictions that were placed on Chinese citizens and businesses from purchasing and investing in property overseas. As a result of this, it is expected that savvy Chinese individuals and businesses drawn to New Zealand will pour an incredible US$10.9 billion into the New Zealand commercial and residential real estate markets. Whilst this figure seems huge it is based on the wealthy Chinese individuals set to benefit from this programme investing just 10 per cent of their assets into international commercial and residential property. Whilst this 10 per cent investment will be shared across several countries, this forecast is based on New Zealand attracting approximately 3.3 per cent of that property-specific investment, as it has in the past when similar percentages of the Chinese affluent have chosen to invest in property abroad.
The Importance of Being Welcoming
With such potentially lucrative property investments set to be made in the country, those working with the commercial property and real estate sectors are being cautioned on the importance of being welcoming to potential Chinese investors. This welcome should be implemented on both the small and the large scale: from employing realtors who are able to communicate in Chinese, to lobbying government to make the country more appealing to Chinese investors. It has been recommended by experts in the field that, to ensure that US$10.9 billion floods into the New Zealand economy rather than being diverted and invested elsewhere, the government and big business should look to make relevant improvements to the national education system as well as increasing the number of direct flights to China available from many of the country’s most investible major cities. Other companies and business types related to the property market, such as those offering the protection of home insurance or lawyers specialising in commercial and residential property law may well also be wise to adapt their business models and practices to appeal to the impending influx of expected Chinese buyers and investors.
It is important to remember that whilst this huge number of Chinese investment dollars is expected make its way into our economy, competition amongst other investible countries to secure the money freed up by the latest stage of the Qualified Domestic Individual Investor (QDII2) programme is fierce. New Zealand certainly isn’t the only country in the world whose economy could benefit from a huge cash injection: but it is more than simply the revenue this investment will bring that is important. This will create new jobs, new construction, and as commercial, industrial, retail and residential properties are all forecast to be targeted by this new investment it will have massive and positive effects across all areas of the New Zealand property market.
The Other Side of The Coin
Not everyone is happy about this potentially huge influx of Chinese investment. Other commentators have suggested that New Zealand’s infrastructure simply isn’t set up for such huge property focus and development, nor is it in a position to change that in the immediate future. There is also concern about the impact that such a huge amount of property purchases from overseas investors will have on a property market that is already overstretched in some areas, and how this will impact New Zealand citizens and existing residents that are looking to find properties of their own. Both of these concerns are valid, but they are also concerns that can be overcome.
What is clear is that this new Chinese investment is coming to New Zealand, and by being prepared for their arrival, now is the ideal time for commercial and residential property developers and realtors to benefit significantly from this influx.