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December, 2018

Real estate experts believe the Central Otago-Queenstown district
might be the first area of the country to feel the effects of new rules on
overseas house buyers.
According to property website realestate.co.nz, average asking prices
average in the region during November fell to $857,011, down 18.9 per
cent on the previous month.
New listings also fell by 4.6 per cent compared to October, when sellers
were asking the much higher price of $1,057,019.
October also saw the introduction of the Overseas Investment
Amendment Bill, which classifies residential land as "sensitive," meaning
existing homes can only be bought by New Zealanders, Australians,
Singaporeans or residence-class visa holders.
Queenstown has a high number of overseas home owners and earlier this
year it overtook Auckland as the region with the highest asking prices.
"It could be that in the run up to the new legislation, there was an
influx of top end properties that owners were eager to get across the
sold line," spokeswoman Vanessa Taylor said.
"Or they were testing the market and would have been open to a sale at
the right price."
Now that the foreign ownership window had largely been closed,
vendors may well have either sold the houses or taken them off the
market, Taylor said.
"Time will tell what it means for the Central Otago-Lakes District."

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