Meet the Auckland landlord with a potential, unrealised $100,000 a month valuation rise on just one of his 30 properties.

Ron Hoy Fong is a big-time Auckland investor who has been buying since 1969, but even he is amazed by unsolicited offers on a townhouse he bought.

On March 1, he bought the three-bedroom two-level Epsom place for $938,000, "almost $100,000 below valuation, but it's gone up by about $400,000 to $500,000 since then. Agents from Barfoots and Ray White indicated it would resell for about $1.5 million."

The third-generation New Zealander, whose market-gardening grandparents were forced to pay the discriminatory poll tax to migrate from China, estimates he houses more than 100 people, taking in $13,000 to $14,000 a week in rent money.


But the rapid value escalation on one Gillies Ave house showed how strong the market was, he said.

"I knew it was a good opportunity," he said of the private off-market purchase six months ago," said Mr Fong, who has an $18 million portfolio and around $7 million debt.

"I'm renting it for $800 a week but since I bought it, its value has grown at a rate of $25,000 a week or $100,000 a month."

The Justice of the Peace, also honoured with a Queen's Service Medal, is a member of the Auckland Property Investors' Association and sponsoring the NZ Property Investors' Federation national conference next month.

He also founded property coaching business Ronovationz run from Mt Roskill and he will be speaking about his wealth-creation techniques at the conference.

He attends property auctions daily to scout for good buys but denies his activities are locking young first-time buyers out of the market. TV3 and Radio Live's Duncan Garner asked what hope buyers had against professional investors like Fong.

"No wonder other Kiwis are missing out on houses. We can't compete with organised property investment groups who are openly targeting central Auckland properties," Garner said.

Fong denied he was depriving others.

"Young people stand outside a Ponsonby house saying 'I can't afford that'. Well, I would have been the same at their age. Houses are affordable if people are realistic. If you have a combined income of $130,000 a year, you should look at buying out west, at Glen Eden and Glendene. I don't recommend Avondale due to socio-economic factors but South Auckland has opportunities, particularly Manurewa and Papatoetoe."

Fong, 67, a former social welfare civil servant, said he got into buying properties after he and his wife Yoland met an older investing couple who inspired them and he regrets not buying sooner.

"I'm not a crazy person who flies business class. I still fly cattle class. But I can go away overseas for four or five weeks," he said telling of a recent trip abroad.

"The first investment property I bought was 31 Inkerman St, Onehunga, on November 11, 1969," he said, recalling a $10,500 purchase price and how he only had a 10 per cent deposit.

But in 1996, he sold up all his portfolio to found the Tofu Shop chain which he eventually franchised, returning to property investment in 2003.

He estimates he has coached up to 400 students who have collectively bought up to 1300 properties for about $650 million, but he plans to continue until his students buy $1 billion worth of properties.

"My goal is to get to be the first billion-dollar property coach in New Zealand in the next two to three years."

As for the Gillies Ave property, Fong said all he had done was have garage carpet laid so it could be used as a rumpus room.

NZ Property Investors Federation annual conference, October 16 to 17, Crowne Plaza. More information at
Ron Hoy Fong
• Age: 67.
• Background: Ex-social welfare civil servant.
• Profession: Auckland property investment and coaching business Ronovationz.
• Event: Speaking at NZ Property Investors Federation conference next month.