NZ immigration surge likely to cause soaring real estate prices

Published:  11 Jun at 6 PM
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As the popularity of New Zealand as an expat destination soars, fears of increasing upward pressure on the country’s real estate prices are emerging.

The recent excess of immigrants to New Zealand against the fast-falling number of migrants is putting pressure on the already-stressed Kiwi housing market, with professionals in the field expecting a further 12 per cent rise in house prices by the end of 2015. Net inflow of immigrants is expected to rise to 45,000 by December this year.

A similar boom in net migration last year resulted in a 10 per cent increase in property rental charges, and the recent easing of immigration rules has resulted in more applications for skilled worker and student visas. Concern by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand as a result of growing unease has caused the bank to state that the issue is under consideration as part of their rate-setting policy.

The fall in Kiwi migration to Australia was sparked by a decline in the country’s formerly booming mining sector as well as by the fact that New Zealanders are not able to claim unemployment benefits in Oz. New Zealand is now offering potential migrants a better choice of jobs, especially in construction and manufacturing, and its economy is seen as stronger than Australia’s at present.

New Zealand’s government is downplaying fears of a housing boom and resulting crisis, and has recently attempted to ease the demand for houses by removing duty and import tax on building materials. Finance Minister Bill English told the media that the way to deal with housing shortages and price hikes isn’t to calculate migration numbers, but to build more affordable homes.
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