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23-Apr-2015 12:07:07 by Real Estate Investar
The heated Auckland property market is being pitched to foreign buyers in Singapore and Malaysia as an "property investor's dream".
A radio ad by Property Solutions Singapore, a subsidiary of a New Zealand based company, said Aucklanders spent around half their week's wages in rent, and that "could be paid to you".
It highlighted the lack of property taxes in New Zealand, and claimed the Auckland market was very affordable.
The company's website lists several off-plan Auckland apartments for sale, ranging in price from $315,000 to $780,000.
Director Lyndon Fairbairn told Radio New Zealand on Thursday that he did not believe his company was exploiting New Zealanders.
"Be it a New Zealand property investor buying an Auckland property or a foreign investor, you're getting someone else to go to work to pay your rental," he said.
Fairbairn said the company was only selling new properties off-plan, meaning buyers were actually helping to address the shortage of supply.
"We focus purely on the CBD Auckland property region. We don't sell big hunks of land, beaches or existing property," he said.
Fairbairn also pointed out the construction industry relied on people building properties, and any foreign investment would help create jobs for locals.
Earlier this year a Singaporean sovereign wealth fund was given permission to buy a 49 per cent stake in a $313 million portfolio of Auckland Viaduct properties.
Meanwhile, a Malaysian property website lists close to 4000 properties for sale, boasting it works with a local real estate company to help Malaysians into the market.
Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said overseas property companies or investors could not be blamed for Auckland's housing crisis.
"Why shouldn't they cash in on our Government's open invitation to the world's property speculators?"
Median sale prices in the country's biggest city soared from $637,000 in March 2014 to $720,000 last month, according to recent Real Estate Institute figures.
Twyford called upon the Government to take action in the upcoming Budget to address the supply problems and clamp down on property speculators.
Even the Reserve Bank has waded into the debate, earlier this month calling for consideration of possible policy measures to address the tax-preferred status of housing.
There are no accurate measures available as to what proportion of property buyers are foreign investors.
Last month, Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf spoke out in support of foreign investment and migration, saying New Zealand's future must not be hamstrung by fear.
Foreign investment created more jobs, and "contrary to popular myth" much of the profit was reinvested here, he said.
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