World's Super Rich Chasing New Zealand Real Estate as A Secure Getaway From Terror And Economic Meltdown

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Real estate
British Colombia Introduces Online Arbitration For Strata Disputes: IN PHOTO: A visitor looks at a model of new apartment complex at a showroom of Evergrande Real Estate Group in Wuhan, Hubei province, in this November 9, 2013 file picture. China's third largest property developer, Evergrande Real Estate, has joined smaller peers in offering zero-interest downpayment loans, a practice reminiscent of the U.S. housing boom that precipitated the global financial crisis. Reuters/Stringer

New Zealand’s real estate is in global limelight with the super rich from the West taking a keen interest in it as getaways for personal comfort and and also to ward off the pressures of global crises.

Driven by the concerns about personal safety and as a shield against the impact of global crises, the super rich from the U.S., U.K.  and Europe are acquiring scenic properties in New Zealand, which are self contained with all amenities, including own air strips. 

Recently, the reference to spurting demand for New Zealand’s prime real estate cropped up at the Davos Economic Forum, held in the last week of January. Leading economist Robert Johnson talked about how  “hedge fund managers all over the world….are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.”

According to a report in Daily Mail, the economist highlighted the growing income inequality between the super rich and the poor as an underlying cause of civil unrest and economic turmoil. Fears about such a strife are already pushing many billionaires to look for a safe haven, that is away from the theatres of strife.

This rising demand from international buyers has also been confirmed by many realtors, who are handling luxury properties in New Zealand. They attest that New Zealand is the most sought after by the rich as it is the world’s third safest country, with good political stability and lower crime rates.

Rationale of Demand

Giving an insight into the luxury property demand from the super rich, Matt Finnegan, Sotheby’s Realty in New Zealand told Daily Mail that “Yes, there is definitely a degree of paranoia when trouble erupts and they start looking for somewhere that is safe and stable. It might be that the people who don’t particularly want to migrate to New Zealand still want to have somewhere to run to in times of trouble.”

Terry Spice, Director of Luxury Real Estate also said a spurt in international inquiries for New Zealand’s luxury properties is nothing surprising. It had been  a trend, whenever there is a global crisis or economic weaknesses was in sight.

Big Names

New Zealand is already second home to many foreign billionaires. They include William Foley, who bought pricey vineyards Te Kairanga at Martinborough,  Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel and Tony Malkin, whose family's estate also includes the Empire State Building.

Meanwhile, beach homes of New Zealand are also fascinating buyers,  reports New York Times. Known as Bachs, these haphazardly pieced together cottages with cheap materials like corrugated iron and reused timber are very aesthetic.

In the South Island, which has a strong Scottish heritage, the beach homes are called Cribs. According to Lance and Nicola Herbst, architects from South Africa, who had settled in Auckland some 17 years ago, the beach homes are a surprise. Unlike South Africa where only the wealthy people own beach homes, in New Zealand even ordinary people had access to bachs.

However, bachs are also becoming costly. The tightening of building standards, new laws on coastal properties and rising price of waterfront land are making them pricey, added the report.

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