17 Nov 2017

Twyford not worried about Chinese real estate promo

4:03 pm on 17 November 2017

Housing Minister Phil Twyford hopes the ban on foreign investors buying existing homes will be in place around February.

The minister said he is not worried about plans by a large Chinese real estate website Juwai, for a month-long promotion in December to target potential buyers ahead of the ban.

An auction sign outside a house for sale in Auckland.

Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

With more than two million Chinese-speaking users, Juwai acts as a bridge between sellers and foreign buyers.

Its head of Australia and New Zealand Jane Lu said the impending policy change would lead to an increase in interest in the next month or so.

"For the buyers who have been researching the market previously there was no time restriction, they may well have wanted to look around to find the perfect home as we all do. But with this policy change it does encourage them to act sooner just in case they might not be able to purchase in the future."

Next month the company will promote a New Zealand webpage for agents and property developers who want to raise their profile and advertise properties in China before the change.

Mr Twyford said the new regulations will still allow investment in new homes and he hopes the effect will repeat the Australian experience.

He said in Australia a ban on existing home purchases, effectively channelled $30 billion of foreign investment into new homes.

"That's a problem that we would love to have here," he told RNZ.

"Our plan is to pass the law in the first 100 days - so early February - and I expect the commencement of that legislation will take place almost immediately."

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