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The Advantages of Real Estate Investment in Wanaka, New Zealand.

New Zealand's property prices offer excellent value when compared to it's major trading partners such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Real Estate industry statistics on property sales indicate New Zealand property prices have raised by more than 10% over the last year and the market is expected to remain firm. Offshore investment is in its infancy however the level of overseas interest continues to increase as a greater number of people become aware of the fantastic income and investment opportunities available in New Zealand and in the Wanaka region in particular.

Lake Wanaka lies at the heart of the Southern Lakes, New Zealand's wonderland, and southern most wine region, in Central Otago of the lower South Island. The Wanaka township itself is situated in a spectacular glacier-carved basin and is the primary gateway to the Mt Aspiring National Park World Heritage area, a National Park renowned throughout the world.

Wanaka is a place of spectacular natural beauty and thousands of visitors flock to the area in both the Summer and Winter months. Wanaka is receiving increasing exposure worldwide due to both it's accessibility to some of New Zealand's top ski fields such as Treble Cone and Cardrona and also though high profile events such as the Festival of Colour and the biennial Warbirds over Wanaka event.. The sealing of the Crown Range which has helped accessibility from the nearby Queenstown international airport combined with the daily Air New Zealand service connecting Wanaka to Christchurch city has led to much easier access to the township for tourists.

The population of the Queenstown-Lakes region is one of the fastest growing in New Zealand. 2006 census counts have recorded an increase of 35% since the previous census five years ago. Median property prices in Wanaka equate to approximately NZ $550,000 (US $400,000) for houses and NZ$250,000 (US $ 190,000) for sections. Since mid 2006 the number of property transactions has increased dramatically.

Low priced sections are still available in some areas with the recent release of development subdivisions in Timsfield. Lake Hawea which is a short 10 minute drive from Wanaka also offers some low priced property options.

Prime land, in particular those sites close to Wanaka or with excellent mountain or lake views, remains highly sought after. Interest in larger farming blocks is always high, particularly for high country blocks with frontage to National Parks, rivers or lakes. Off-shore buyers have been particularly active in this sector of the market with properties being purchased principally for lifestyle, recreation or development purposes.

A shortage of office and retail space is impacting on rents, which have increased steadily over recent times. Despite this, rental prices in Wanaka are still well below those for equivalent space in nearby Queenstown indicating there is likely room for further growth in this market.

The accommodation sector and associated businesses have enjoyed a buoyant market over the last decade. This is primarily due to the steady influx of tourists over recent years. There is confidence in the market going forward, this is evidenced by new investment in infrastructure including additional visitor accommodation, service industries such as bars and restaurants and activities such as the new Basecamp Wanaka complex.

New Zealand is an investment friendly country and the Government encourages foreign investment. There are no barriers or costs associated with foreign property investment with no land tax, stamp duty, mortgage stamp duty, property purchase tax, or capital gains tax. Some countries such as Australia, require property buyers to pay stamp duty tax which can be up to 4% of the purchase price. Buying from overseas is a simple process with only a small subsection of property acquisitions requiring overseas investment consent.

These include: Area: Where the land area is in excess of 5 hectares. Foreshore: Where the land includes the foreshore/seabed or adjoins foreshore/seabed. Lakes: Where the land area exceeds 0.4 hectares and adjoins or includes the bed of a lake. Reserves: Where the land area exceeds 0.4 hectares and includes or adjoins a reserve, park or conservation land. Islands: The majority of property purchases on offshore islands require consent. Historic Places: Where the land area exceeds 0.4 hectares and includes or adjoins most historic, protected or heritage areas. Please contact me if you require professional advice on current regulations and taxation laws pertaining to property investment in New Zealand.

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