The media commentary of the last few days has polarised around the impact of returning kiwis and increased long term migration:
Whilst most of the articles in commentary or in posted comments are quick to dispel the presumption that such increased demand will fuel property prices, none can refute the assertion as the NBR commentary rightly says “Certainly they will all need somewhere to live. The buyer pool will be boosted and rental properties will have more tenants scrambling to get in the door“.
This is exactly what has been witnessed by some key indicators of international searching for NZ homes for sale and homes for rent on this website over the past year. We have analysed these trends and provided some detailed statistics.
Searching for homes for sale
This is the largest segment of the website – currently there is over 53,000 listings of properties for sale including lifestyle properties. In the past month there were over 134,000 searching sessions from countries outside of NZ for these properties – around 1 in 3 of all visitors to the realestate.co.nz website are viewing from overseas, making it the #1 website of choice for international visitors.
The top 20 countries searching for property to buy is detailed below:
The major markets in terms of traffic are the big 3 of Australia, the UK and the USA which account for close on 70% of all international traffic. Significant year on year growth is seen from the US up 63% in a year as compared to total international traffic up 14%. The UK and Australia however are flat or in the case of Australia down 9%.
Significant increases in traffic are seen from China and Spain both showing growth of over 200%, equally Russia, Taiwan, Singapore and not surprisingly United Arab Emirates feature with traffic more than doubling in the year. A very significant drop has been seen from South Africa, which a year ago, was the 5th most active visiting country, slipping now down to 17th with a 49% decline in traffic
Interest from overseas tenant looking for property to rent of which there is over 7,000 on the site currently has grown by 17% over the past year with over 25,000 visitor sessions in the past month.
Again as with searching for property for sale the same top 3 countries dominate. In this case the growth again is from the US with another decline from Australia and a flat performance from the UK. Canada at #4 equally showed significant year-on-year growth up 82%.
Big movements are witnessed with interest from Spain and Ireland, the latter up 172% moving up from 12th to 7th place. Just as with property for sale – South Africa is witnessing a decline in rental property searching recording a 55% fall although the scale of interest still warrants a top 5 spot.
India ranks much higher in rental property search (#10) as compared to #20 in terms of property for sale with a more than doubling of interest for rental properties over the past year.
Notable departures from the Top 20 are Fiji and Switzerland, the former seeing a 33% decline in rental property.
The data of traffic for Australia has been adjusted to account for the significant increase in traffic to realestate.co.nz following the closure of the website of allrealestate.co.nz in Dec 2008. That website a subsidiary of the leading Australian real estate website (www.realestate.com.au) derived a significant percentage of traffic from Australia which now re-directs to realestate.co.nz.
To enable a like-for-like comparison the historical data from that website for Australian traffic has been de-duped with the data of traffic from realestate.co.nz for those months of last year to create a true picture of Australian searching trends.