New Zealand is favourite for footloose US citizens

Published:  30 Jan at 6 PM
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New Zealand’s spectacular natural beauty is tempting would-be expatriates to leave the USA and change their lives.

Spurred on by Silicone Valley billionaire Peter Thiel’s decision to become a Kiwi citizen after purchasing a magnificent lakeside estate, Americans who dislike the way their country seems to be heading are upping sticks and journeying to the other side of the world. The World Bank rating of New Zealand above Singapore as regards ease of doing business is another reason for the increase in enquiries, and Transparency International’s listing of the country as the least corrupt on the planet is a draw for expat investors.

In addition, the Global Peace Index placed New Zealand as the fourth safest destination in the world, just behind Iceland, Austria and Denmark. One real estate agent is convinced the attraction for those searching for a bolthole far off the beaten track is that the West’s escalating problems can be safely ignored.

Nick Horton’s agency has recently completed a sale to a US citizen who left after the Trump election victory, and a New Yorker magazine article noted a rise in interest from wealthy individuals who view New Zealand as an escape from the 21st century world’s volatility. Sudden increases in the country’s popularity aren’t exactly, new, as surges of interest were reported after the 2008 financial crisis and also when Obama was elected.

After the recent presidential election, the agency’s website received a massive 88,353 hits originating in the USA, with its normal daily average at just 2,300 visits. Actual registrations this January are almost double the number received in January 2016.

Immigration consultant Sarah Coombes-Crome told BBC News her web traffic on the day after the US election was up by 600 per cent, and has remained above average ever since. Enquiries, she added, are not just from the mega-rich, but also from educated Americans spread across the USA. Some are looking to work and others are interested in investing or purchasing property for their retirement.

Source: BBC News
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