By Peter Spring, Keegan Alexander, Lawyers, Auckland, New Zealand Foreign investment in Auckland’s well performing property market continues to rise but, in recent years, there has been a shift from Australian to Asian investors. This is consistent with China being New Zealand’s largest trading partner. Asian investors are particularly interested in the apartment sector in Auckland where the median dwelling price has increased by 103 percent over the last ten years. Currently, New Zealand still has no capital gains tax and Asian property investors are attracted by:
- New Zealand’s much vaunted “rock star economy”.
- Its fair and transparent legal system.
- The wealth of educational opportunities available for their children.
- The lack of restriction on foreign investment in commercial and residential real estate.
Such is the demand for inner city apartments that foreign buyers frequently purchase “off the plan”, paying a modest deposit to secure a unit yet to be constructed. By way of example, MSI Global Alliance lawyer member, Keegan Alexander, acts for Conrad Properties Limited, one of the leading players in the Auckland apartment market. Typical of Conrad’s numerous developments currently underway is Park Residences, a 28 level apartment block in the CBD. Even though construction is not scheduled to be completed until mid-2016, a majority of the residences have already been pre-sold and only a handful of apartments remain available for sale. Generally apartments are unit titles which is the most widely used form of multi-unit property ownership in New Zealand and is governed by the Unit Titles Act 2010. This statue has recently been overhauled and provides a secure form of freehold ownership allowing owners to have a separate title to their unit whilst at the same time being able to share the benefit of common areas with other unit owners.