Property editor of the NZ Herald

Brexit and Donald Trump: Why the world is suddenly searching for New Zealand property

Leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, left, and Donald Trump, right, have made the world nervous.
Leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, left, and Donald Trump, right, have made the world nervous.

Brexit and US presidential candidate Donald Trump have are believed to have triggered a surge in searches of New Zealand property listings from Britain and America.

Brendon Skipper, realestate.co.nz chief executive, said that the listings website had noticed an increase in traffic lately, so it analysed data over specific periods of time to try to ascertain reasons.

According to data from the site, the week leading up to Brexit and following - June 16 to June 29 - saw a jump in new users from the United Kingdom of 27.47 per cent, versus the same period before - June 2 to June 15.

"They were largely looking in Auckland City, North Shore city, Wellington City and Rodney," said the listings site.

Similiarly, a big rise in US traffic tracked Trump's rise.

"Using February 1 to June 29 (roughly when primaries started ramping up) saw a jump in new users from the US of 21.4 per cent when compared to the same time in 2015."

READ MORE:
South Otago town of Kaitangata makes world headlines punting the Kiwi dream

Mr Skipper said those big increases in New Zealand property search numbers precisely tracked the big overseas events and he was unsurprised by the outcome, saying New Zealand was being viewed as a safe global haven.

"We would never see an anomaly like this normally from those countries. There's no other rationale for them to spike or increase," he said.

Brexit Trump Kiwi property search spike?



source: realestate.co.nz

Overall, the rise in search traffic over the two periods from the two countries was 17 per cent. "There's plenty of web sites about migration to New Zealand and if people put New Zealand into a search engine, we would be the top web site," Mr Skipper said.

No data is yet available on the price brackets they are searching for but Skipper said further analysis could be run into this.

Kiwis living in Britain and the US and thinking of returning home could be playing a part in the trend, he believes.

"My thoughts on this are that many ex-pats in those areas would be thinking of an exit plan, plus as a stable country with plenty to offer. I would also guess we would seem like an appealing option to move to for those not wanting to stick around in their own country," Mr Skipper said.

realestate.co.nz gets 1.1 million unique browsers a month, has about 60,000 residential properties listings at any one point in time but has has 100,000 listings of all different property types, making it the largest New Zealand real estate listings web site, he said.

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The website, established in 2007, is half owned by the Real Estate Institute and half owned by number of big real estate agencies.

Leading Kiwi real estate agent Graham Wall said New Zealand had a "golden future", with three unusual aspects which differentiate it from most other countries: a plentiful supply of fresh water, extremely safe boarders and able to produce far more food than is consumed here.

THE DATA
www.realestate.co.nz

June 1 2016 - June 30 2016
Sessions: 3,034,997
Unique browsers: 1,193,015
Page views: 25,558,254

Kaitangata - about 10km south-east of Balclutha, sits on the Clutha River delta. Photo / ODT
Kaitangata - about 10km south-east of Balclutha, sits on the Clutha River delta. Photo / ODT

One town that might be attracting interest from bolt-hole seeking foreigners is the tiny South Island town of Kaitangata.

It has launched an ambitious push to entice city dwellers to relocate to the South Otago town with attractive land and house offers, and the lure of an abundance of jobs.

Stories appearing earliert this week in Britain's The Guardian and France's Le Figaro are broadcasting the drive of the small town near the mouth of the Clutha River to expand its population beyond its 800 residents, with responses already streaming in on Twitter from as far afield as Pakistan, Italy, the UK and further, and with enquiries already swamping the Clutha District Council's offices.

Under the scheme city dwellers are being offered house and land packages at around $230,000 - a price exasperated Auckland house hunters would not be able to imagine in their wildest dreams as the country's housing crisis continues to bite.

READ MORE:
Hollywood director James Cameron buys Featherston property

Hollywood mogul James Cameron is another who has bought up more than 1500ha of land near Featherston in South Wairarapa.

The Avatar and Terminator creator also owns a Carterton walnut orchard and Food Forest Organics in Greytown's historic precinct, which stocks fresh produce coming direct from the Cameron Family Farms just out of Featherston.

- NZ Herald

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