The latest BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey is out, and the Herald has even embedded the full document in their online story, which is a very promising change.
According to the report 6.4% of homes sales in March are to off-shore buyers, 25% of whom were Chinese. 25% of 6.4% is 1.6%.
If you look at real estate statistics (eg, here) for last month you find 6125 residential sales through agents across NZ. 25% of 6.4% of 6125 is 98. That’s not a very big number. For context, in the most recent month available, about 1500 new dwellings were consented.
You also find, looking at the real estate statistics, that last month was February, not March. The BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey is not an actual measurement, the estimates are averages of round numbers based on the opinion of real-estate agents across the country. Even if we assume the agents know which buyers are offshore investors as opposed to recent or near-future immigrants (they estimate 41% of the foreign buyers will move here), it’s pretty rough data. To make it worse, the question on this topic just changed, so trends are even harder to establish.
That’s probably why the report said in the front-page summary “one would struggle, statistically-speaking, to conclude there is a lift or decline in foreign buying of NZ houses.”
The Herald boldly took up that struggle.