Claims that returning New Zealanders could have a big impact on the economy and the property market appear to be severely overstated

Claims that returning New Zealanders could have a big impact on the economy and the property market appear to be severely overstated

Reports that a flood of returning New Zealanders would help to prop up the economy appear to be overstated, so far.

The latest figures from Statistics NZ show just 1861 NZ citizens returned long-term in September, which was less than half the 3793 that returned in September last year.

However there was also a significant decrease in the number of NZ citizens leaving long-term compared to a year ago, with departures dropping from 2915 in September last year to just 284 in September this year.

That meant there was a net gain of 1577 NZ citizens in September, up from the net gain of 879 in September last year.

However that small addition to the population was substantially reduced by a net loss of 769 non-NZ citizens in September, down from a net gain of 7312 in September last year.

Overall, that meant this country's total population gain from migration was just 808 in September, down by 90% from the net gain of 8190 in September last year.

Population growth from migration dropped hugely after the borders were closed in late March, crashing from a net gain of 11,277 in March to just 89 in April.

Numbers have since picked up a bit since then but remain well below the levels that existed pre-lockdown.

Over the six months from April to September this year there was a net population gain of just 2513 people from migration. That compares with a net gain of 29,709 over the same six month period of last year.

So although migration is still contributing to population growth, its is doing so at minimal levels compared to previous years (see the graph below for the monthly trend since the beginning of last year).

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It was always obvious that it was overstated.
There are many vested interests in this country that are determined to spin any angle they can to promote the housing market / FIRE economy


I can't believe it was unquestionably reported & repeated by so many outlets for so long.
It is complete nonsense.

1 news even led with it a week or so ago.

The PM even mentioned it yesterday!!


Shows how clueless and/or invested in the ponzi they all are.

Journalism has deteriorated so badly in NZ. Articles are really just opinion pieces disguised as an actual news story but with absolutely no research or evidence to back it up. I was complaining just this morning that these days I can barely find a single article worth opening on the NZ Herald app because it’s all just ridiculous property hype designed to feed the frenzy. The advertising standards authority should be investigating their partnership with OneRoof. It’s just pure advertising disguised as “news”. Every OneRoof article should be marked as an advertisement which is what it really is, designed to influence participation in the ponzi.

100% agree, and it will get a LOT worse in 2021 and beyond. Clickbait, clickbait, clickbait. Where is the REAL news?
They just don't care. Why should they, it's a money printing machine and they want to keep their jobs and bonuses.
NZ is so small that nobody wants to rock the boat in case we all fall out.


Perfectly said. All BS from REINZ and similar vested interests. cant even get into the country because of lack of quarantine facilities right now. Perhaps an increase will come when things have settled down a bit and borders open up. Flights are also 3 times the historical price form say LAX to Auckland, being pretty prohibitive for family right now, not to mention the risk from Covid from many overseas destinations at present. I don't care one way or other but the 12 month scenario of kiwis coming back home may be quite different than the last few months.


If only politicians had some plan to continue this reduction once the borders open back up. But business will win out, and get all the cheap labor their hearts desire

On the one hand, RBNZ wants to make debt cheap so businesses can borrow and invest in growth and expansion.
On the other, successive governments are happy to feed migrant workers and consumers in bulk to our businesses, removing incentives to invest in R&D, innovation and equipment.

I think you'll find a lot of primary sector businesses are already invested in labour saving or replacing tech - robotic harvesters, milking parlours and such like, trouble is they're extremely pricey and in relative short supply. Try not to get sucked into all the tosh often spouted here about migrant workers - some industries desperately need them.


But Grant Robertson was saying just yesterday that we have a "large number of returning New Zealanders coming into the market", creating the "perfect storm" for rising house prices...


just repeating the talking points given to him by REINZ.


*Creating the illusion of a perfect storm would be more accurate.


The media is only reporting what has been stated (because they are too lazy to check). The Government is clearly pushing this line to shift the blame and redirect attention from their failures.

Your username suggests that your comment is based on experience.

No it is to make the house price frenzy look like a consequence of NZ attracting home its citizens rather than a consequence of uncontrolled mass immigration which has occurred for the last decade - up to covid stopping it in its tracks. ie divert attention away from the fact the government actually caused the problem.

Its a bit of a weird one though. I've heard a couple of second hand stories now via those working at banks, unprovoked, where there is interest and purchasing being done by nzers overseas. Its elevated compared to historic levels so noteworthy to them, but I cannot quantify if it is actually material to have an impact on the overall market

I am pretty sure those second hand stories are more trustworthy than statistical data based on evidence.

The issue is the number of people coming back intending to buy a house. Many of these past migrants werent interested in that. The people coming back now seem to be coming back to live andseem to have money also. This is all anecdotal obviously, but the numbers quoted here - dont tell a clear picture about who is wanting to get into the housing market at all.

Just saying that from what i hear is that some staff have been swamped by the enquiries, but whether it has any impact is questionable (presume more work for an offshore application). It takes a bit of time until these start to come through in the data. Im very skeptical of the market and feel it is overblown, but at the same time have been asking myself constantly who are the people fronting up with the money on a lot of these properties

I'm curious, which banks are lending money to future unemployed Kiwi's? If they stay overseas then they have a job and can service the mortgage. If they leave and move back to NZ they won't have a job, so how will they service the mortgage? Are banks taking a punt on the chance of these people getting work when they come back? Because they won't take a punt on giving a mortgage to a currently unemployed person already in NZ.

Brainwashed with lies or doing it deliberately..........

In both scenario is cheating the average people of the country with false Propoganda and thereby creating FOMO.

You do realise it is currently very difficult to actually get into NZ right? Pretty sure there are no clots available until the New Year. I also heard that a record number Kiwi ex-pat's are intending to return - when they can.

"it is currently very difficult to actually get into NZ right?"
how easy is it to leave NZ tho my guy???

damn these stats that are completely ruining your narrative.

A) I don’t have a narrative, unlike you I suspect

B) the article is about inbound New Zealanders

If you want to leave be my guest, no one is stopping you

go look again, the article is about *net* migration.

there is even a nice graph with a title that reads "Monthly Net Migration Gain/Loss"

The headline, and with it the theme, is "Claims that returning New Zealanders could have a big impact on the economy and the property market appear to be severely overstated"

My point is, how can you draw any conclusions about returning ex-pats if they can't actually return. It also appears ex-pats are buying prior to returning.
I have an open mind, if this isn't the case prove it.

In your first comment you said "I also heard that a record number Kiwi ex-pat's are intending to return - when they can."
Then later you said "how can you draw any conclusions about returning ex-pats if they can't actually return".
There's a bit of a contradiction here.

The survey was by KEA
I could care less if you believe it or not, but at least show the survey where they are not coming back.

It didn't seem that difficult to digest to me but let me spell it out again, if you can't physically get into New Zealand, it's quite hard to be registered as having returned.

If you trust that survey, then I suppose you would also trust this one regarding the removal of the 90-day notice:

"Nearly half (46.3%) of investors/landlords said it is likely or highly likely they would sell their rental property if the proposals go ahead, 32.6% were unsure and the remaining 21.0% said it was not likely or that they definitely would not sell their rental property."

By the way, you say they can't physically get into New Zealand. Have you read the article you linked? "I managed to sell my house in the UK, I put it on the market on a Monday, I bought my ticket to come home on the Wednesday, I accepted an offer on the Friday, on the Sunday I was on the plane,"
Sure sounds impossible.

The edit you posted is either very old or a false statement. Since the issuance of a quota management system back in about June(?) that scenario would simply not happen.
It has been regularly reported there is close to 1 million NZ expats overseas so TeKooti's point about them returning is probably quite valid

Well, I just quoted the article Te Kooti linked. It's from 5 days ago - no date on the actual quote.

Yet you used the quote to counter TeKooti's assertion - was that lazy or mischievous?

I was a member of KEA, their surveys hold as much credibility for me as a sieve holds water.

How do you know if that survey is statistically any different from expat intentions last year, or the year before?
REVEALED: Kiwis go on their OE and want to come home. Startling.

I'd suggest just keep to the Stats NZ data.

The research was contracted to a research company I know. There's little public information about the survey respondent composition. But your assumption is correct. What if the survey comprised a large proportion of English teachers in China or IT workers in London? It's safe to assume that they can jump on the first plane back home to where their family and friends.

My point is that there really isn't enough evidence to reach a conclusion, so I don't agree with the article headline. Anecdotally, I do know people who have, or are looking to return to NZ. None of the main NZ ex-pat destinations are having good Covid's. If that somehow triggers you into a property melt-down, that's on you.

"My point is that there really isn't enough evidence to reach a conclusion"

So why have we been hearing about it ad nauseum in the media and from politicians as one of, if not the, principal driver of what's going on then?
There's far more evidence to the contrary (actual evidence, not just the anecdotal mates you're talking to).

The conclusion is in the headline of this article (not the KEA one), how can you say the ex-pat returning story is over-blown if ex-pat's can't get back?

It wouldn't take many returning ex-pats to push prices up since there is so little stock around.

OK mate, you just run your own side reckons to confirm the debunked narrative.

What we keep hearing is Kiwis *have* been returning in droves.
This is patently untrue.

I'll follow the stats information.

This is true, though I also think many returning may be wary, rent at cheaper prices while looking for bargains waiting for the inevitable lull once the stimulus drops off and the 12-18 month full effects of the global downturn kicks. Especially when investing in property outside a home. History repeats.

My point is that there really isn't enough evidence to reach a conclusion,

That depends what data source you're relying on. Jenee's Twitter feed suggests that the claim of swarms of NZ expats returning isn't evident.

How can swarms of ex-pats be moving back when it's so hard to get a voucher to get in?

Lol the title says "Up to half a million Kiwi expats could return home in next few years to escape Covid-19 - survey", I dont know whether covid 19 is going to exist or not in next few years after we heard about the vaccine news. The title is contradicting with itself...

One could also say "More than half a million Kiwi expats could not return home".

This is also true, as in the process of doing this ourselves, before we make the leap of the pond. Can’t say that we 4 will drastically increase sales, since a 4 head count does not equal 4 sales, only 1. I myself, even though waiting to make the move, still think the vested interests are inflating the incoming impact, since as you can see family head counts can drastically affect the actual number buying.

Most commenters are so entrenched in their personal opinions they can't see or acknowledge converse logic. TK makes a number of good points here. Regardless the majority, who are so desperately praying for a market crash, flat out refuse to see otherwise. As frustrating as it is to see this trend proliferate across most property related articles, it is comforting to know they're bleak outlook has and will continue to blind them from opportunity.


There are also record number of kiwi want to leave NZ too. I don't think we need to speculate it here. Lets see after this pandemic passed, how it turns out. More people coming to New Zealand to live? or More people leaving New Zealand due to its cost of living? One of my friends came from USA because of Trump, but he never has intention to live here for long term due to housing price and cost of living. He is highly skilled, I don't think money is the issue for him. It's overpriced and poor quality houses makes him think it's not worth the money to invest here. I am wondering how many people are thinking this way.

Sounds like money is definitely the issue? not all houses are poor quality - overpriced is a money issue

I would argue that overpriced is a value issue, not a money issue. The reality is that there are people have enough money out there, but whether it is worth to spend that amount money on a overpriced house in Auckland. Let me give you an example, if you are offered 1 million dollars, would you spend all that money on a poor quality house with a poor return or would you spend it on a house in another region with better quality and more opportunities to grow your investment return? My friend was from Florida.

So is he moving back to Florida? they just updated the stand your ground laws over there so you shoot rioters and looters aswell. Nice in the winter time though!

I don't know why kiwis are so defensive whenever someone points out a a valid issue in NZ. They go straight to pointing out some issues in another country with addressing the actual issue. So we all have issues so let's not do anything? That's called ad hominem.

That was from a self-selected survey of dubious merit.

Like the survey conducted right after the tenancy law changes announcement, that asked landlords if they were gonna sell their rentals due to the changes. If I remember correctly, about half of them said yes.

Edit: yep, I remembered correctly:

So there was only 1861 NZ citizens returning long term, and the borders are closed to foreigners apart from a few hundred essential workers. Funnily enough our COVID isolation hotels are full, and with a lot more rooms occupied than 1861 over a whole month, so I smell a rat in the data.........

Numbers reported earlier stated that 50k NZ citizens returned in the first 6 months of 2020, and a lot of migration for the last 6 months has been outbound with no inbound tourists, hence the nil total.

Kiwis returning home all year want a place to live, those leaving have been visitors, not needing permanent places to live. the mix change will be affecting demand for home purchases, despite the later slowdown of arrivals.
80,000 in the year ended June:

"a lot more rooms occupied than 1861 over a whole month"

Erm... how bout the crazy idea that not all of them were long term returnees???

You know, like people who left for a short period and returned. Like, say, the entire Warriors, All Blacks and Phoenix teams?
Could be countless reasons people return for short periods - funerals etc.

You think you might have over-looked that?

Come on dude, think about it. Heaps of people travelling for family emergencies and work. That's basically the reasons I have had from people that I know that have travelled. Haven't heard of anyone coming back long term, despite knowing dozens of long term kiwi expats overseas.


The upside of covid. Immigration near dead. Long may it continue. Plenty of people here to be trained up.

I suspect once the borders reopen, businesses will resort to their usual race-to-the-bottom pricing model and employ cost-cutting practices by hiring cheaper migrant workers instead.
Without pushing through sweeping market and migration reforms, we're simply training locals to help rebuild higher-wage economies of more livable countries elsewhere.

‘Kiwis take jobs a little lightly compared with migrant workers,’ was one employer’s comment

"Plenty of people here to be trained up." - very true, trouble is comparatively few actually seem to want to be trained. Go figure??!


Yet Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson made a baseless claim that returning kiwis are causing the rising housing price. I am pretty sure they know what's going on at the moment. But it's just their nature to blame on something else instead of looking into the issue.


Just typical pollies. Don't think for a moment that Jacinda is any different. She seems to be getting more cynical.

Stay strong and fearless - and keep calling for Jacinda's resignation.

People like her, but her track record is a disaster.

Jacinda has committed more taxpayer underwriting to solve the looming crisis. She signaled potential changes to the Welcome Home Lan scheme and more efforts to make it easier for developers to build houses.
In other words, taxpayers are going to underwrite even more high-LVR loans (5% deposit) and risky developments. Exciting times ahead!


So Returning Kiwi is just a cover just like so many lies......

Mr Orr and Me Jacinta Arden have been lying to the nation.

With no intent to act come up with theory to get more time. LVR too may not be very effective in this market but none the less should be tried and MR ORR is very well aware but as has no intent and is been forced to act is playing with time to delay as much as possible.

No accountability of Mr Orr as in worst case scenario will resign after satisfying his ego and screwing many average Kiwis and JA has nothing to worry for next three years - sideaffect of democracy.

Just recently FM and deputy PM was putting the response on returning Kiwi so WAS HE LYING ? or WAS HE MISINFORMED.

If misinformed will he come out and correct and if not is lying.

Need strong media and unbiased to ask questions firmly for average Kiwis.

When you deliberately misspell Jacinda's name. You position yourself as a bitter loser of the last election.

You may well be right in everything else you write, but it's now stained as ramblings.

When he misspelt the PM's name and then went on to butcher any sense of sentence structure or syntax was when his diatribe became a ramble imo

The influx that matters is the first quarter of 2020 as that was when the effects of the pandemic hit and Winston Peters advised Kiwis to come home now as the window to getting back was closing fast. One can assume that those NZers returning permanently initially moved in with relatives, so there would be a lag time between arrival and seeking independent accommodation.

Peters didn't make that statement until late March tho and the pandemic panic really didn't start ramping up until at least late Feb.

So that doesn't really explain the Jan and Feb numbers at all.


What many spruikers fail to mention is how exactly those returning kiwis are gonna buy million dollar houses? I think kiwis with good jobs and a house overseas are not as likely to return as the ones who lost their jobs (in hospitality for example) and don't have enough savings and assets to survive on until the pandemic runs its course.

The median house price is only 750K not a mill. Given any expats coming back from the US or EU/UK will gain 35%+ on their money it's not too much of a stretch to buy here as long as they have a modest level of savings and a job guarantee. I don't think Covid will be the only driver for people to return - the world is a bit of a basket case atm making NZ look pretty safe

"any expats coming back from the US or EU/UK will gain 35%+ on their money" - please explain.

cj.. exchange rate

LOL I was afraid that he meant the exchange rate. Because that means he's not aware of how currencies work... People don't gain any value by exchanging their USD to NZD. The value stays the same (minus the cost of the exchange).
Or do you suggest that I could become rich in minutes by exchanging, say, 10000 NZD to 13 million Congolese Francs? That's a +130000%-ish "gain"! Best deal ever!

all those expats pouring pints in London will be flooding back (thought they already were flooding back?) with all their "35%+" currency gainz to buy $1m houses.

I must say you chose your monicer well. If an expat Kiwi has 50K Euros and converts them to NZ dollars then he will have roughly 65K NZD to spend here, If they're a couple then collectively they'll probably have close to a deposit on a median priced house. If you can't understand that then I'm afraid all is lost for you.

LOL doubling down on your ignorance. Well done.

My point exactly - thanks for confirming what I suspected

All you're doing is pointing out that if a couple has the equivalent of 130k NZD, then they will have close to a deposit on a median house. Sure - no one is disputing that. But they didn't 'gain' any money in your example.

I didn't say they gained. I said the savings they had ( say 50K Euros) would be the equivalent of about 65K NZD. People should actually slow down and read the post and let it sink in before they start to shoot from the hip - although I guess it takes longer for some. Perhaps my post was too obscure and oblique for CJ and co.

But you were replying to a post about gains, in a thread on that topic, and telling the poster you were replying to that they 'didn't understand' something. That doesn't make sense if you didn't intend what you said to be about gains at all.

CJ assumed I meant they would make a financial "gain" - his assumption, not my intention. The "gain" made is obviously a numerical gain. I would have thought people reading this website would have an inherent understanding of that without needing an explanation - guess I was mistaken in some cases

You've made a lot of digs at people in this thread, implying that they are stupid or don't understand obvious things. But really, the idea that you make a 'numerical' gain by exchanging one currency for another is a pretty odd thing to say. Sure, the digits following the currency sign are different. But it's a real stretch to describe this as a 'gain' in any meaningful sense. Perhaps consider that its not that everyone else is dumb, but that you're using the term 'gain' in an odd (and misleading) way.

If the digits following the currency symbol are higher when transferring from one currency to another is this not a numerical gain? I'm not saying everyone else is "dumb" merely the two that decided to rant due to their own incorrect assumption and then make childish claims and assertions. You seem to have understood well enough. If some people want to make sarcastic and childish statements then they get the reaction they seek, and imo deservedly so.

Yes, it's a 'numerical' gain strictly speaking. But that fact is totally meaningless when it comes to whether the person has enough to buy a house. That's why its weird that you brought it up, and why people quite reasonably assumed you must have meant something different.

I said they MAY have enough for a deposit and would gain a mortgage if they had a stable job (or offer of one). I suggest you don't speak for others, perhaps you should replace "people" with "I" in your post. Only CJ is labouring the point like a petulant child as evident below. If he can't understand how to read between the lines that's his failing not mine.

Hook, sorry but you're the one who is being pretty childish about this. You said something pretty silly, and when this was pointed out you tried to justify it in a convoluted way, and started insulting people.

I didn't start insulting "people" - I disagreed with CJ and spoke to him in the same vein he spoke to me - get your facts straight. Perhaps you shouldn't attempt to conflate a disagreement with one commentator into a disagreement with multiple commentators - that's just either disingenuous or worse attempting to gain credibility via assumption of unassigned proxy opinions.

A direct quote from you: " I'm not saying everyone else is "dumb" merely the two that decided to rant due to their own incorrect assumption and then make childish claims and assertions."

two individuals do not "people" make, you and CJ are entitled to your interpretation of what I said, just as I am.

You cannot be serious. You're really trying to argue now that 'people' isn't the plural form of 'person'? One person, two people.

Actually the plural of "person" is "persons" as in "persons of interest". Again your interpretation is different. Get over it

Dude, stop digging. Better to just admit you're wrong than try to argue that you cant use the term 'people' to refer to more than one person. Unbelievable.

I didn't say you couldn't use the term people, I told you what the plural of person was. You are labouring a moot point and last time I looked this wasn't a grammar class. You can interpret things your way and I'll do it my way. Like I said - get over it

You're just digging a deeper and deeper hole.

"any expats coming back from the US or EU/UK will gain 35%+ on their money"
"I didn't say they gained"
But sure, keep defending the undefendable.

If you're too obtuse to understand the nuance then that's on you - not me

You're right, I'm too obtuse to understand the nuance of saying X, then 2 comments later saying you never said X. So nuanced!

It's time for Jacinda to step down, she is NOT up to confronting, let alone dealing with the challenges of our time.

Here's a thought. She steps down, recommending the Govt adopts a capital gains tax. Steps into deputy role, Grant steps up for a time, keeping Finance (like Muldoon). Accepts the former PM's recommendations and fast-tracks a CGT. Once the tax is in place (on the family home) Labour rolls him as leader for betraying property investors and the deputy PM reluctantly takes the reins again. Says she doesn't want to disrupt things, so won't unwind her predecessor's policy.

Problem solved.

Here's a fact as opposed to your thought. A cap gains tax will achieve nought, moreso if a 'family' home is exempt. Plenty of info out there explaining why.

So all other things being equal, you think an activity being more taxed than it has historically will have 0 net effect?

If thats the case, and it generates revenue for government, isn't it a no-brainer?
Or is it a genuine "no-brainer" to think that tax changes don't impact behaviour/decisions?

Agree that they didn't do anything they campaigned on from the 1st term.

Agree that its unlikely they will do anything useful this term either (aside from manage the drawbridge and keeping the plague at bay).

But what else is the alternative? Some no-name from the Labour rank and file? Judith Collins? Winston Peters? random start-up parties?

The solutions to the issues we face will require responses that span any political career.

I'm starting to form an opinion, that our best course of action is to promote learning and development of our younger generations (anyone at present still at school or younger). Clearly all the adults have, and keep on, making things worse.

Its the kids at school now that will need to really deal with things like fossil fuel dependence etc, global warming, unleashed money printers.

If we (voting public and political leaders) can't make hard decisions now, then is there an argument that we must grow a generation of people who can & will?

Ahhh.. who's gonna do the teaching?? - the adults currently making things worse or Aunty Google?

I never saw any data that re-enforced the view that these returnees where all super loaded, so always assumed it was mainly people who lost their jobs overseas and couldn't then get a benefit unless coming back home.

Or family members of newly minted immigrants.

Either which way, if you thought this was what was going to support out economy through a global meltdown...

It would be interesting to know how many "new NZers" have bought property on behalf of foreign family and friends. I suspect it would be a lot.

I've been suspecting the same.

It's rare to go to an open home on the north shore, and not see young asian people walking around filming the place, without actually looking at it themselves.

The real estate lobby including the NZME group and other low quality media outlets started using this fallacy as a means of creating FOMO when they thought prices would drop after the first lockdown, this is an evidence of how little one can trust these guys. It is great to see you guys at look at the actual data and set an example for the rest to follow.


The government was also quick to pick up these unverified claims to shift the blame of rising unaffordability onto "cashed-up returning Kiwis" instead of admitting to their own policy failure.

100% agreed

Is Labour transforming into the next NZ First?
They are great for our boomers and elders. Increasing their asset values and protecting them from the virus.
Screw the youth!!!!

b21...One Roof (owned by NZME) is the quintessential example of media pornography.

What I think everyone is missing here in the comments section is that NZers can buy from overseas. And stay overseas. They don't actually have to come back to NZ right now. They might well want a place to come back to at some point in the future - NZ is looking like a safe haven right now with the virus raging everywhere but here.

This. Exactly what we are doing until we finalise our commitments and are ready to move to NZ or go somewhere else. Can’t say I’m happy to be paying for 4 people in managed isolation if I don’t have to right now but I’d like to return for a laid back lifestyle in the regions for the family and into our retirement.

Can someone in the media interview some of the prominent property management companies to get an idea of how the rental market in Auckland is doing. Just a feeling. But I guess that branch of B&T is being told to STFU at the moment as not to ruin the narrative that the other half of the business is pushing.

Do you really think you would get the truth from property management companies? Might as well ask Ashley Church or Mike Hosking.

Good question.
Available rentals in Auckland are soaring though, up to 5,150 on TradeMe.

I had heard that due to the lack of international students, that there is plenty of supply in some areas. But that won't be good for people buying for investment, unless they are relying solely on capital gains, and will mothball the house. Here do seem to be more rentals available in my area, some which are houses that have recently sold. The amounts they are asking don't seem too bad, but the quality of the property is poor, run down 60's and 70's houses, as you would expect.

Auckland inner city rentals must be hurting, the international student/Air BnB market.
I don't know how strongly that will flow through to the rest of the market though. It's not like a family of five currently living in Te Atatu can take advantage of a rent drop on a tiny studio apartment in the CBD.

Yeah totally different markets, minimal if any connection.

This should kill off (but will not) the drivel about immigration driving house price rises.
Prices are rising because there are lots of people prepared to pay prices that 6 months ago they were NOT prepared to pay and banks are allowing them to borrow to pay those prices. Period.
It has nothing to do with supply and demand of houses on market etc.
There was a shortage 6m ago too.
There are a lot more people prepared to sell because they know buyers are paying well over CV
BUT a large % of what is being bought and sold is in Auckland (50%) and sales in NZ excluding Auckland are down 3.5% in the last 12m, whereas in Auckland they are up 18%. This is due to the fact that Auckland has more landlord owners than anywhere else and more speculative capital buying land and off plan stuff.
The standard economist playbook is that supply and demand cause price rises.
That is a model and not reality.
Last time we had this mania was 2014-15 and prior to that was 2003-06.
Both times due to Chinese being prepared to buy stuff up and sit on it as they saw it as cheap and were allowed to take capital out to buy it. Hence, again , price went up due to players willingness to pay more which was nOT caused by there being a shortage of stock. There was plenty of stock to buy in last 6m, or it would not have sold would it? Difference is it is selling 65% faster than a year ago. And what is being bought is different to normal. But REINZ, BT etc do not itemise enough what is being bought in terms of their reports: ie bare land v houses

But immigration was driving up demand. You have to house 60,000 new people a year somewhere. There was a housing shortage, although we don't know how many Ghost homes we have that are just sitting empty, which also reduces the NZ housing stock on hand..
The problem is conditions have changed and there is now huge FOMO for different reasons, including record low interest rates. People seem to be stockpiling houses, and more people buying them for investment, due to savings in the bank earning almost nothing. This is a different situation to 6-12 months ago. Parents also see that their kids won't be able to afford to buy, and some appear to therefore be buying houses now for their children. All of this is creating artificially high demand. Also I haven't heard anyone say, wait a year or two and things will settle down. Instead the media are implying that if you don't buy now, you will be paying a lot more in the future, and you may miss out totally as people get priced out of the market. It is fear that is driving the market now, mixed with cheap money, and cash not earning anything in the bank. .

It certainly is cheap money driving the current surge, and all the things you say about demand are correct - except one. Waiting a year or two hoping prices will settle is more likely to end in tears and higher debt than any savings. It's well known that even outside of artificial surges house prices have historically appreciated by a minimum of 7% or so per annum. Short of some significant external shock there is no reason to believe that'll change

What time span are we looking over? I do wonder if we're in the middle of a quite fundamental transition. Over the whole post-war period the housing market has been strong -- but there has also been continuous wage growth (until recently). I think wage growth is dead, and that has to affect housing, though maybe with a lag.

What timespan? - 30yrs or so probably longer. You're correct about wages and that is another elephant in the room no one seems to want to address, although how you do that is beyond me. As wages continue to stagnate more people will be turning to rentals - more housing bought up/built by landlords and the cycle churns on. A friend of mine just finished a 650K new build in Tauranga specifically to rent @650/week - no intention at all to sell. Another is doing the same thing on a 700K build. I nearly bought an apartment in Whakatane with sea and harbour views - current lease 680/week for two yrs (about 4.5% yield)

My property has doubled in GV over the past 15yrs so, as I say, about 7%pa cumulative.

My town the GV is half of the estimated selling price, which houses are selling for. Next time around the GV often match those selling price, or estimated prices. That is a doubling in about 5 years.

Certainly there has been some extreme valuation jumps over the last few years, undeniably. What were the increases like averaged out over say 30yrs?

If you dont believe net migration is not the source of the house price mania, lets try having a net migration of minus 60k a year instead of plus 60k a year. You will find house prices will fall quite quickly as landlords with no tenants rush to sell.

Not surprising that Tony Alexander was the first to start this "returning kiwis" drivel way back in May or June.

I live and work in Japan and the United States. There are exactly zero reasons for me to return to New Zealand. None of the expats I know have any interest in returning to their respective "home" nations. We didn't move here just to pine for home. We moved here because home had little to offer, and still doesn't. This talk of us all desperately wishing to come home is laughable nonsense.

Wasn't aware you spoke for the 999,990 expats the world over. Must be great to have such an interconnected network.

Like I said, none of the many expats I know have any interest in returning. NZ has nothing for us to do that we can't do better over here. But hey, go on kidding yourself that a million Kiwis will flood back to NZ and buy all the huzzuss un mukk yuh rutch!!!!!!!11111


You may know a few but you don't speak for all - by a long shot. To think your situation is a reflection of even the majority is the height of delusional arrogance. In fact when the Govt has to ration places in MIQ facilities ( and they're booked out to Jan.) it would tend to indicate you're definitely not speaking for a sizable number anyway.
In fact I seem to remember you claimed origin from Ireland in a conversation some weeks back - so you're a drifter with no plan to have a fixed long term residence, which is fine but not reflective of all expats you claim to speak for

He never claimed he is speaking for all other expats for heavens sake. He's just providing some balance to the bullshit about most expats wanting to come back.
Good on him, I understand his perspective. Like anywhere NZ has cons as well as pros. For some the cons outweigh the pros.

I said the expats I know aren’t interested in returning to their respective countries of origin, including me. For us we are now home. Not everyone wants to devote their life to endless discussion of rugby, Ford vs Holden, the America’s Cup, and residential property investment. We have much better things to talk about. But hey, good luck with your delusions about how “the whole world is watching you” and how anything and everything that happens there is “putting New Zealand on the map”.
Because delusion it is, trust me.

good comment. I used to enjoy going to dinner parties where boomers used to talk about rugby all night and how Ireland would never ever beat the all blacks etc (ok that did not work out). Now I hate going to dinner parties as all the boomers want to talk about is how the valuation of their house and rental property is making them look like Warren Buffet.

Oh Malarky, this so true! And it puts a lot of people off coming back. Problem is, a lot of those who have not lived abroad for long enough (or ever) don't recognise that people don't talk property market at parties in Europe. I would expect it in Australia as there is the same game of "pass the property parcel" there, as there is here.

You're wrong about the Ireland stuff. Whoever that was it wasn't me. I'm a born Unn Zudduh, but I'm not a brainwashed Unn Zudduh.

It sounds like a symbiotic relationship - please don't come back.

That's a bit nasty.

It's also reflective of what some others are thinking.

Sorry to rain on your godzone parade.


You regularly trash New Zealand. It's not a good look and it's a bit odd. It's like you are bitter about something.

Actually, some Kiwi ex-pats stay abroad not because they are doing so well, but because they are running away from something. If you are abroad you don't bump into ex-schoolmates who are doing better than you, or family. Of course there are many positive reasons to live and work abroad as well.

You need to break free of the Kiwi cult brainwashing. Stating facts about NZ and the world isn't bitter trashing just because those facts make you uncomfortable.

Speak for yourself. There are expats like myself and mine who are finding good reasons to return. Depends on your age, situation, politics etc.

Totally agree, I'd take a 70% pay cut and pay 100% more in taxes if i moved back, ditto every expat I know from NZ, so why return? The ones I do know who are returning are moving back to lock in their required living as a tax resident to qualify for NZ super.

Based on an annual salary of NZ$1m and 15% average tax rate, you would be taking home $850k pa. Your example would see you taking home only $210k in NZ - what exactly do you do? Nothing to do with maths I'm picking.

Project officer for tertiary education institutes, write some exams, do a few workshops and lectures. I certainly don't make 1 million dollars a year, however a similar job in NZ pays 70% less. Yes the tax I'd pay in NZ would be double what I'm currently paying if i were to receive the same salary in NZ.

Sorry 65% less :)

This is true...speaking from current experience.

The problem was that the housing disaster was barely discussed at the election. Partly because IMO, many people who already own houses don't mind house prices rising. Now the government can't really do anything, as they have ruled out new taxes. Subsidies will only push up prices even more, as shown in Australia and other countries.

We have a huge mess on our hands, and some people may get burnt badly.

It is an oddity of the NZ electorate. Those with houses vote accordingly. Meanwhile renters are quite happy to vote for labour or national who both support rising house prices.

I wonder if this news will make the mainstream media? If it did, maybe it would help to calm some people down who have a FOMO ?

Just because they come back to NZ doesnt mean they are going to stay here. Now that Australia is open, I would imagine a lot of ex-pats will return to NZ then jump on a plane to Australia. If you've been working in some high flying position in London or New York, are you really going to settle for a job in Auckland, or are you going to head off to Sydney where the pay is better, and you have a much better chance of getting a job doing what you used to do overseas.

Their housing also looks cheaper when you look at house price to income ratio. But they do have more taxes on property than NZ does.

Not just looks, in MelB, Adelaide, Perth & Brisbane where you have to look, also checkout the grocery and also the salary/wages, they do have CGT & willing to take about 15-25% RE medication correction... NZ? Naa, that's why you see the like of current Uni Otago VC (already on her 625K here in the dump), finally decided to head to Perth Apr 2021.. and also with no more PC bs pressure that goes around NZ.

You need to tabulated where that overstated coming from, then will realise why they have to overstate that.
The real reasons some of them have to return? 1) Not fully eligible for Healthcare cover 2) Not eligible for salary/wage subsidy - Those still out there? normally in that level of say Fast DNA Sequencing. Some returning from UK? after milling the currency there? .. being amplified by local RE agent as victim of covid, back to root to invest etc.. none mentioned the past 3-5yrs of Brexit debacle. But hey, remember NZ is not just small country that able to flatten the curve, is able to crush the Covid bug without vaccine! by robust border control, using mask, apps & distancing - add to that is the govt & CB..that are very kind to some of it's citizens.

Thank you for pointing this out to our Prime Ministry. But the hole in her head is getting bigger by the day.