Chinese buyers

PHOTO: Median prices for residential property across New Zealand increased from NZ$635,000 in February last year to a record NZ$780,000. 

  • Ultra-low interest rates and post-pandemic demand have pushed house prices up 23 per cent in the past year, prompting new regulation to curb speculation
  • While buyers from Japan, Singapore and the Philippines are keen, most supply is being snapped up by New Zealanders owning multiple properties
Last year, as thousands of  New Zealanders lost their jobs amid the Covid-19 pandemic, real estate agent Shane Robinson – who is based in the country’s seventh-biggest city, Dunedin – was busier than ever.
“It was completely unprecedented. I’ve been in the industry for 15 years and I’d never seen anything like this.  The housing market obviously dipped when we first went into lockdown [in March last year], but it came back so much faster than it went down [after the country was declared free of Covid-19 in June] and has grown exponentially ever since,” Robinson said.

“A few years ago, if you bought a property and sold it in the next three years, you’d done well if you broke even. Now, we’re seeing that you can buy a property and sell it six weeks later and make NZ$30,000 (US$21,100). It’s very much a seller’s market.”