The recent article in the NZ Herald highlighted a renewed interest in NZ commercial property from counter cyclical buyers from the South East Asia region.
Bayleys’ senior broker James Chan is quoted as saying that “the company’s marketing activity this year is in Southeast Asia and particularly Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China because this is where most international interest in New Zealand property is coming from“.
This focus naturally lead to an analysis of the visitor statistics on realestate.co.nz for commercial listings as to whether there had been an appreciable increase of visitors from South East Asia in particular. Comparing the first 3 months of 2009 with the same period last year visitor numbers are up significantly at the same time inventory of commercial property is at a peak. It turns out that close on in 4 of all visitors to commercial listings on the website in the past quarter were from overseas up from 1 in 5 a year ago, a total of 71,000 visitors checked out such listings in the past 3 months, up 19%.
The chart below shows the major growth areas of the world reviewing NZ commercial property. In overall terms international visitor numbers are up by 48% clearly driven by major interest from across the Asian region.
Whilst absolute visitor numbers for commercial property listings are small as compared to residential (total monthly visitor sessions for commercial in a month for example may amount to around 25,000 as compared to residential which can be over 600,000) the fact is though that commercial listings tend to only attract genuine interested parties as opposed to residential which has a broader audience comprising many visitors for whom browsing real estate property for sale is very aspirational and not genuinely grounded in the likelihood of ever buying any of the viewed properties.