Buy and build for for­eign­ers

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - DEB­BIE JAMIESON

A Queen­stown prop­erty ex­pert be­lieves Gov­ern­ment plans to re­strict for­eign home own­er­ship will in­crease much-needed rental stock in the re­sort but says the prop­erty mar­ket is a lit­tle ner­vous.

Col­liers In­ter­na­tional val­u­a­tion and con­sul­tancy di­rec­tor John Sco­bie said the level of for­eign own­er­ship of houses in the re­gion was un­known but es­ti­mated to be be­tween 10 and 20 per cent.

Un­der the new rules, over­seas pur­chasers would be able to buy and build but not buy ex­ist­ing houses.

‘‘The hope is that it pro­vides more rental prod­uct...fu­ture [over­seas] pur­chasers will have to find some­thing to build, and put more stock in the mar­kets.’’

That could solve some prob­lems for Queen­stown, where there was huge de­mand and not enough sup­ply, he said.

Rents had been un­af­ford­able for quite some time, he said.

‘‘Hope­fully we see an eas­ing of that.

‘‘We’re just los­ing too many peo­ple - specif­i­cally your teach­ers, fire­men, po­lice­men, that type of thing. They’re in­te­gral to the com­mu­nity and we’ve got to keep them here.’’

Other changes were likely to im­pact the mar­ket also and, with such a small base in Queen­stown, it was pos­si­ble the sup­ply and de­mand im­bal­ance could turn very quickly.

‘‘Cer­tainly in the Auck­land mar­ket it’s been drop­ping off, though not quickly. We tend to fol­low that mar­ket and be about 10-12 months be­hind.’’

Projects like Ladies Mile be­com­ing a Spe­cial Hous­ing Area would also bring more stock into the lo­cal mar­ket, he said.

He did not think there would be any ma­jor change in prop­erty val­ues as a re­sult of the changes. ‘‘But you never know. No one saw the [Global Fi­nan­cial Cri­sis] com­ing.’’

There was some con­cern in the prop­erty mar­ket, he said.

‘‘If any­thing the mar­ket has been quiet prior to the elec­tion. No one likes uncer­tainty.

‘‘But now they’ve said what they’re go­ing to do, though there’s still a few ques­tions about how it works...It’s be­come more cer­tain and peo­ple un­der­stand what’s go­ing on and will move for­ward.

‘‘It seems the mar­ket has picked up a bit in terms of value so that’s great and there’s a lot of de­vel­op­ment around on the draw­ing board.’’

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