A Chinese investor tells Kiwis to stop grumbling and work harder if they want to buy a house in Auckland.

Mark Li of Liaoning Province, China owns a Mt Albert house and advises New Zealanders to save harder. He spoke from China via a translator to Anne Gibson.

Why did you invest in Auckland?
I have a sister living in Auckland and my parents come to visit her sometimes. All my family members think it's a good idea to invest in a property in Auckland for future visits/stay.

What did you pay, what type of house did you buy and when?
I paid $750,000.00 (loaned $250,000.00 from bank), freehold, 65sqm in Mt Albert, bought it in February 2014.

Is it rented?
It's rented out now.

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Do you own other properties in other countries and if so, please detail price and location and date of purchase.
I don't. This investment in Auckland is my only overseas investment because my family members are here and they can help me to look after it.

Do you know that New Zealanders are worried about Chinese buying our houses?
I heard about it, but why?

Did you know Kiwis can't afford to buy a first home?
I don't understand. When I was here, I heard that they spent hundreds of dollars on food and drinks every week. I was so surprised. Things are cheaper here than in China. Why do you spend $100 on beer when you can save it and spend it on your house one day?

Many say Chinese - particularly those who are not NZ citizens - are out-pricing our housing?
I don't know. I've been to a number of auctions before I bought the house, and I saw many Kiwis win the auctions too. I work hard, I work long hours to achieve what I have achieved now. Stop blaming other people, work harder!

Do you intend to live here?
I might one day, but not sure at the moment. Depends on the family circumstances.

Did you know we as New Zealanders can't buy your houses?
What do you mean? I might sell my house in Auckland one day then they can buy it.

Do you therefore think this is fair?
My house is rented out now to New Zealanders, it's not vacant. So you mean that because I bought it, then you couldn't buy it? I don't understand, why don't you buy other houses if you can afford? There are so many other Kiwis who can afford to buy their houses. Why don't those people work harder to earn more, save more and then they can buy? To me, it's very fair. Excuse my language, but only losers think it's not fair. My money didn't fall on me from the sky. I am not ashamed of being richer than those people who don't work hard and blame others for their own failures. This is what I value.

Did you know 39.5% of Auckland house sales in three months were to Chinese?
I didn't.

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Yet only 9% of Auckland's population is made up of Chinese?
Are you sure? I think the percentage in Auckland is much higher than that. At least that's how I feel. I am not interested in investing in other cities of New Zealand. Nothing is going on outside of Auckland; too quiet for me. My friends told me stories about racists in South Island; I don't want to live here. I like Auckland because it is multi-cultural and open-minded. Lots of Chinese like Auckland because of that. If you think the high house price is caused by us Chinese people, maybe [that] makes Auckland less attractive to us.


Read more
Special investigation: Auckland house prices
'We've got Chinese buyers'