Aussies snapping up NZ property

Sunday 27 June 2004

A few weeks ago, two Brisbane men headed to New Zealand's southernmost city of Invercargill with real estate on their minds.

By The Landlord

Over two weekends, the men bought five or six properties for investors back in Australia.

In recent months there have been regular stories about Australians heading to New Zealand on buying trips, sometimes snapping up half a dozen properties in one town.

Property investors are joining Australian tourists in Queenstown, despite the median house price in the south island holiday destination now standing at $NZ480,000 ($A436,640).

"There are Australians buying Queenstown real estate, no doubt about that," Wakatipu Real Estate Institute president Richard Newman said.

"With their laws in New South Wales you might see more and with our direct flights from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, I think that's all going to help the Queenstown market, especially the apartment market."

In Invercargill, Australians are buying three-bedroom homes for under $NZ100,000 ($A90,970), which agents say can be rented for about $NZ200 ($A180) a week. Student numbers at the Southern Institute of Technology have jumped because of a zero fee scheme, increasing rental demand.

"It's getting a little bit tighter at the moment but as a general rule most of them have been looking for about a 10 per cent return, which has been quite realistic," Ray White Invercargill business manager Kevin Mason said.

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