Mixed views on fencing off investors

By Yvonne Tahana

Home buyer Hongying Qiu checks out a house in Grey Lynn yesterday, before it goes to auction. Photo / Dean Purcell
Home buyer Hongying Qiu checks out a house in Grey Lynn yesterday, before it goes to auction. Photo / Dean Purcell

Ponsonby chartered accountant Hongying Qiu was in and out of 11 Farrar St in Grey Lynn within 10 minutes yesterday afternoon inspecting it before it goes to auction next week.

She said she was a New Zealander who hated the thought that real estate would be fenced off from foreign investment. "I'm against it. I'm quite happy with the current government policy - foreign investment is good for New Zealand."

One family who turned up to view the property were angry that they saw property investors who won a $1.165 million auction in the suburb earlier yesterday morning attend the Farrar St open home in the afternoon. Charmone Ford, who was with her two toddlers and husband, said families were effectively cut out of the market.

"That [auction] was at 12.30 - I'm quite annoyed that they can write out a cheque and come straight here."

She said losing out to foreign investors didn't sit comfortably with her, especially for houses that were clearly in need of renovation.

"It pushes up the prices and that price isn't realistic."

The bungalow, which is converted into two two-bedroom flats and is marketed as "an investment property in a prime Auckland location", drew first-home buyers Patrick Sham, 25, and Michelle Chan, 24.

Mr Sham, a junior doctor, supported the policy as he believed it would probably make a difference in the short term. However, he doubted its efficacy in the long term as New Zealanders loved property. "House prices will go up," he said.

A PR executive who would not give her name said the Labour policy was about buying votes: "It's an interesting policy move and clearly to win some favour when they've got none."

- NZ Herald

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