Major New Zealand real estate chain Ray White has made a new linkup with China in a move led from its Australia headquarters.
The business here and in Australia has struck a deal with mega Chinese real estate business Lianjia.
Carey Smith, Ray White chief executive in New Zealand, said the new linkup was a move out of Australia.
"This is a move by Dan White, director, on behalf of Australia mainly," Smith said today.
But prominent Labour MP, Phil Twyford, has expressed concern.
"If reflects a housing market where the Government not only is in denial about the impact of non-resident foreign buyers but has stubbornly refused to take any action to protect the interests of first home buyers.
Twyford was unimpressed.
"You can't blame Ray White. They're in business to make a dollar and this move obviously shows it's good for their business to be marketing New Zealand homes to offshore buyers and it defies belief even after all of the major banks announced that they would no longer lend to offshore buyers, the Government still thinks that non-resident foreign buyers aren't having any significant impact on the market when everybody else knows they have," he said.
His comments follow a report that Ray White had expanded its agency services to China, signing an agreement to list new and old properties for sale with China's largest real estate agency, Lianjia, also known as Homelink.
Lianjia, which has more than 6000 branches in more than 25 cities in China, will co-list Ray White's New Zealand and Australian and properties in Mandarin on its websites, the report said.
Ray White Group director Dan White was quoted in this week's article which reported that the exposure to Lianjia's audience - about 260 million Chinese buyers - providing Ray White with the leverage into China and, more importantly, fulfil the organisation's strategy of becoming more diverse and a brand that is more attractive to the Chinese community.
Twyford said he was unsurprised.
"There's no doubt non-resident foreign buyers are a significant presence in the market. I don't think Ray White would be taking an initiative like this if they didn't think that non-resident foreign buyers from China a significant force in New Zealand," Twyford said.
Twyford said he now expected three big Chinese banks to ramp up their lending in New Zealand to non-resident Chinese-based buyers of properties here.
Ray White has an international network of nearly 1000 individually owned and operated offices. Annual property sales turnover is in excess of A$27 billion in sales, it says on its web site.
Ray White began in 1902 in Crows Nest, Queensland but now operates here, in Australia, India, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, China, Middle East and Atlanta, USA, employing 13,000 staff.
The chain manages about 230,000 rental properties and employs more than 1900 property management professionals, according to its web site.
Smith told the Herald last year that ascertaining numbers of Asian purchasers of New Zealand properties was hard to quantify.
"It is difficult to get actual numbers because no one keeps purchaser origin but the influence of the Asian buyer generally and enquiries through websites such as Juwai are upwards of 1000 per month and this is approximately 10 per cent of our web enquiry," Smith said.
"It is difficult because what is typically viewed as an Asian purchaser is a person who is from China, is an investor and has been attracted to New Zealand real estate and generally will purchase the property for reasons of the secure environment and the ongoing success of the Auckland property market.
"This, generally though is a number less than 5 per cent. What does make up a vast majority of what is seen to be Asian purchasers is purchasers of Asian ethnicity and when you look across certain parts of Auckland, the population base of home owners that are of Asian ethnicity can be upwards of 20 per cent in some areas and as much as 33 per cent in others."