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25-06-2009

Immigrants not all good news for market

Landlords.co.nz

The accidental landlord syndrome is being perpetuated by immigrants unable to sell their properties back home.

By Vicki Holder

While New Zealand real estate agents are looking to the immigration wave to resolve the downturn in housing sales, the global situation is putting a dampener on their hopes.

Accidental landlords from the UK, South Africa and Canada are fleeing their home countries to become reluctant tenants in New Zealand.

They can't sell in their own countries, says Richard Evans from Rotorua Rentals, so they can't afford to buy here. "All the unsold stock is being rented by reluctant landlords to reluctant tenants. But that's very much at the middle and upper ends of the market. Vacancies at the lower end are high and rents are not what they were two years ago."

The same thing is happening in Auckland. Dave Collett from Ray White Glenfield recalls a couple of years ago when South African and British immigrants were keeping the market buoyant. Now he says, those people would love to live here but can't because they can't sell their homes.

"We've got a lot of Brits moving in, but they're struggling to sell their property back home. However, the Asian market is very strong in Glenfield. They're buying. And they're buying everything. Around 40% of our business is Asian. But I know in other branches that figure is around 70%."

Over in Browns Bay, a traditional drawcard for British and South African immigrants, Lara Crowle of Ray White says she has noticed the accidental landlord trend too.

"Many Brits and South Africans are renting here, waiting to sell their homes back home. There are definitely some that do have funds. Those people are taking their time, renting for a short time before they decide where to buy."

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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