Chinese buyers are showing a growing appetite for New Zealand properties, with inquiries jumping by 50 per cent on - the biggest portal for people from China searching here for properties.

Gavin Norris, head of Australia and New Zealand for said Chinese people made 50 per cent more property buying inquiries in August than in the same month last year.

That contrasts with January when the number of Chinese buyers declined. At that time Juwai co-founder Simon Henry said New Zealand dropped to fifth from fourth most popular country in the world.

Labour wants to ban foreign buyers and Land Information New Zealand is now collecting data on the number of foreigners buying properties here, although those show extremely low percentages.


Norris said Auckland's popularity with Chinese looking for properties had increased lately.

"Auckland is the biggest driver of Chinese demand. The city accounts for 55.2 per cent of all Chinese buying enquiries," Norris said.

However, Christchurch is growing in popularity: Of all New Zealand cities, Christchurch has had the biggest run-up in Chinese demand this year, with the Chinese Purchasing Intent Index for Christchurch 300 per cent higher in August than the same month last year. This looks high, in part, because Christchurch attracts relatively few buyers, so any change looks large in percentage terms.

"Christchurch is still significantly below Auckland in absolute number of inquiries," Norris said.

Oamaru has emerged as a location where Chinese are searching for properties currently. That features as the fifth most popular here, headed off by Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington, Juwai data showed.

"Auckland is the biggest driver of Chinese demand. The city accounts for 55.2 per cent of all Chinese buying enquiries."

Chinese are searching for properties in certain price bands.

"Sixty-seven per cent of Chinese buyer inquiries are for properties worth $691,000 or less. This suggests most are buyers of units. The price range of $691,000 to $1.4 million is the next most popular, with 23 per cent of all enquiries," Norris said.

1. Auckland
2. Christchurch
3. Queenstown
5. Oamaru