You’d be hard-pressed to guess the hottest housing market at the moment. It’s not San Francisco, Miami, or New York but one remote island in New Zealand that calls itself Auckland.
A new report from Christie’s International Real Estate says the city posted a 63 percent growth rate in in the $1 million-plus market over the past year. Property’s are going fast, with average homes on the market lasting fewer than 45 days.
There are several reasons for the splurge. Auckland has the Waitemata harbor, palm trees, powdery beaches, and 2,003 hours of sun. The jobs are there; this city of 1.4 million people is New Zealand’s “global” city on a par with London or New York. It’s bohemian, diverse, and cultural. The economy’s good and real estate’s a bargain. According to The Wall Street Journal, a three-bedroom, solar-powered house perched over some almighty cliff costs the same as a loft apartment in San Francisco. Property laws are generous, tax is minor, and New Zealand legally discourages foreign speculation. In short, Christie’s says:
A strong economy, magnificent natural beauty, and a friendly image are key selling points for New Zealand’s foreign real estate buyers. Add to that the country’s property laws––which do not include a stamp duty, capital gains tax, or visa requirements––and the result is one of the world’s most attractive property markets for overseas buyers.
For investors of today, Auckland’s a haven from the stock market unpredictability that’s plaguing Europe and the United States. Others like to spend on property given today’s market uncertainty and China’s recession. In nearby Wellington, 400 miles from Auckland, real estate agent Craig Lowe told the WSJ that the market was his strongest in 16 years of selling real estate. “The psychology of the booming market is so powerful that I don’t think any rhetoric from [policy makers] will make any difference. Everyone sees other people making money,” he said.
It’s a small wonder that Auckland trounced last year’s hottest market,Toronto, according to Christie’s International Real Estate.
This year’s proving better.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia