Nobody in New Zealand expected Donald Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton and to win the race to the White House. It was one of the most unexpected events of the recent past. And already, even before Trump is officially inaugurated as the President of the United States, Kiwis are bracing for a rush of Americans disappointed with the election results moving to New Zealand.
If you’re looking to sell property in New Zealand fast in 2017, Trump’s victory couldn’t have come at a better time for you. A number of Americans, who are liberal by persuasion, had promised to move to New Zealand if Trump won the Presidential race. And now that Trump has indeed won, it remains to be seen whether they hold on to the promise.
Real estate experts in New Zealand expect an upward pressure on home prices and higher home loan interest rates in response to Trump’s win. New Zealand’s biggest real estate portal, Realestate.co.nz, has reported receiving a much higher traffic from the United States than ever before, with a number of Americans actively searching for New Zealand property.
Indeed, traffic from the USA at the site was up by 432 percent since the results were announced on November 9th. 78 percent of the visitors had never been to the site before; this shows there is a lot of new interest in properties in New Zealand.
Brendon Skipper, CEO of Realestate.co.nz says, "Obviously New Zealanders are the largest group of visitors to Realestate.co.nz, typically followed by Australians. Last night, the US jumped into second place ahead of Australia in terms of visitor numbers."
Andrew Bruce, president of the Auckland Property Investors Association president agrees that New Zealand will have to brace itself for a rush of home seekers from the USA. He says, "An influx will put further pressure on our already short supply of housing in Auckland. We are already struggling to keep up with demands."
Carmen Vicelich, who heads the property data analytics site MyValocity, says Trump’s win would have a huge impact on the real estate market in New Zealand, just as Brexit has had already, and would add to the pool of buyers looking to buy homes here, especially in the city of Auckland. She said that most of the buyers are likely to be ex-New Zealanders, who are coming back.
"We saw that in 2008 and after 9/11, a lot of New Zealanders decided this is where their future is," Ms. Vicelich says.
She adds that Trump victory may lead to more expensive home loans in New Zealand because New Zealand banks are reliant on money coming from the US to fund their loans. So any uncertainty in the US economy would mean higher interest rates here in New Zealand.
However, ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley says that any impact of US citizens migrating to New Zealand is likely to be marginal at best, so there is no reason for people here to panic just as yet.