A 25-year-old Kiwi investor who initially washed dishes to make a buck has brushed aside fears about the Covid-19 pandemic to buy his fourth property.

Riyaan Mohamed said he backed the property market to rebound quickly from the coronavirus crisis, having officially signed up for his latest property while in lockdown.

It means he will now have a $1.6 million housing portfolio, since buying his first home just four years ago, aged 21.

And it hasn't been an easy journey as the Herald on Sunday earlier revealed.


Mohamed migrated from India to New Zealand when he was 13, but dropped out of his final year of high school to pay his own way after his family ran into financial difficulties.

Working long hours in dishwashing and retail jobs, he scraped his pennies together for the next two-and-a-half years until he had a $70,000 deposit for his first house, before then moving on to his second and third properties.

And he isn't planning on slowing down, despite the economic fallout from the lockdown looming.

"If you look around, cafes, restaurants and businesses are struggling, as is KiwiSaver and the share market has got its teeth kicked in at the moment - even pharmacies are struggling," Mohamed said.

"But property is one thing that is still holding its own and still giving good rent."

one roof
Young investor Riyaan Mohamed has put down the deposit on his fourth property just days before New Zealand went into its coronavirus lockdown. Photo / Martin Hunter
Young investor Riyaan Mohamed has put down the deposit on his fourth property just days before New Zealand went into its coronavirus lockdown. Photo / Martin Hunter

House prices in Auckland and most of the country soared earlier this year but with the lockdown grinding the market to a halt and thousands of home owners and renters at risk of losing their jobs, uncertainty surrounds how many people will be able to pay their mortgages and rents at current prices.

Mohamed was hopeful his investments would hold up, however, because his latest purchases were new builds in central Christchurch.

His fourth property - a one-bedroom townhouse in the city centre valued at $420,000 - is due to be completed in February, with Mohamed putting down a $42,000 deposit last week.


The apartment was within walking distance of Christchurch's planned new stadium and the inner city as well as close to shops.

It came just months after Mohamed put down a $41,000 deposit for another new one-bedroom townhouse in Christchurch central for $410,000.

"People always need houses to live in and when you have a rental in a good central area there aren't that many options, and so you are likely to get a higher paying tenant with a secure job," he said.

"By contrast, I'll just throw up the suburb of Rolleston and you will see at least 100 to 120 houses needing tenants right now - it's not as easy to get good tenants."

And should house prices fall during the pandemic, Mohamed is not so worried.

"I never was buying a property to sell it the year after and make a small profit; it is always about the long term," he said.


"So even if the prices go down, they will eventually go back up."

It's a philosophy Mohamed cottoned on to early when he realised working 9-5 could only get you so far, and began devouring books, YouTube videos and blogs about property investors overseas and in New Zealand.

Starting in a dishwashing job at a Lower Hutt restaurant seven years ago, he rented a small room upstairs with a shared kitchen and bathroom for $120 per week, and began saving all his spare cash.

With no qualifications and no work experience, it took him a year before he could move on to other work, landing a job at a health supplements store in the local mall before impressing his bosses and being shoulder-tapped to move to manage a new store opening in Hornby in Christchurch in 2017.

Having spent two-and-a-half years squirrelling away his deposit, Mohamed bought his first home in Hornby for $350,000 six months later.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website


By January last year, he and his new partner had saved another $160,000 deposit and settled on their second Christchurch property, a three-bedroom, $484,000 home in Halswell.

Having recently started his own business - which has been put on hold during the lockdown - Mohamed said his rental income was helping keep him afloat.

"This has only strengthened my faith in property," he said.