According to the latest search data from realestate.com.au, New Zealand is now the top country for property searches from overseas.
Searches from NZ make up 17% of all overseas searches for properties to buy and 15% of rental property searches.
Pre-pandemic, searches from the UK and the US surpassed those of all other countries. However, as soon as the border re-opened, searches from NZ increased and overtook them all.
NZ searches to buy and rent a property in Australia are now about 15% higher than searches from the UK, now in second place.
And since the start of the pandemic, buy searches from NZ have increased by 171% and rental searches by 257%.
This increase in search activity from our nearest neighbour coincides with increased arrivals to Australia from New Zealand.
Based on the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics arrivals data, there have been, on average, 122,000 people arriving on the subclass 444 visa, used mainly by New Zealanders, each month for the past 12 months. In the 12 months to June 2020, there were, on average, 116,000 per month, so recent arrivals are higher than before the pandemic.
All of the seven top countries for search volumes have seen an increase in rental searches over the past 12 months compared to the previous period.
Searches from China have increased by 67%, primarily driven by the return of Chinese students to Australian universities.
Rental searches from the NZ, the UK, and India are also significantly up on last year.
Searches for buy listings haven't increased as much as for rent. However, all of the top countries, bar Hong Kong, have experienced year-on-year increases.
Victoria is the most searched state by overseas property seekers, with The Garden State being most popular with the searchers from UK, US, and NZ.
The largest number of searches from any one country for a specific state comes from NZ property searchers looking in Queensland.
Four percent of Queenslanders were born in NZ, with New Zealanders making up the highest proportion of residents born overseas. Hence, it is unsurprising that our neighbours continue to find Queensland a desirable place to live.
Melbourne is the top city for buyers and renters from overseas, with Sydney and the Gold Coast not far behind.
The Gold Coast is more popular with searchers looking at properties to buy, whereas Brisbane is more popular with renters.
Luxury inner-city apartments continue to be popular with overseas property seekers, with properties boasting everything from karaoke rooms to rooftop infinity pools.
111 Castlereagh, in Sydney's CBD, has been in the top 5 for more than 12 months and is a prime example of the luxury developments that overseas property seekers find attractive.
What makes the volume of searches from NZ so impressive is the size of the population relative to the other top countries. With a population of only five million, it is tiny compared to the US, India, or China, but there are more searches from NZ than any other country.
The geographical closeness of Australia makes it a prime destination for New Zealanders, as does the ability to seek work without applying for a visa.
Because of this, New Zealanders will always find Australia desirable, and we expect to see continued interest in Australian properties from this country.