New Zealand has always been a popular country for overseas holidaymakers, but the latest government figures show that more and more people are choosing to live here as well. And given Brexit and the recent US election, this trend may increase. For example, in the weeks following the US election there was a huge jump in expressions of interest in moving to New Zealand loaded on the Immigration NZ website from US citizens – 17 times the usual number!

We can only speculate as to how many of these expression of interest will translate into actual visa applications. But what this indicates is that New Zealand continues to be a very attractive place for migrants.

Although Auckland is where the majority of migrants settle, recent changes to immigration policy is having an impact and other regions are likely to see more migrants – and this will have an impact on the property markets in those regions.

For example, the Skilled Migrant Category, which is the largest migration category and a points based system, has recently increased the number of points that an applicant under this category needs from 140 points to 160 points. This means that higher-skilled people will be given priority. But a further change was to give additional points to applicants for having work or a job offer outside of Auckland. This allows for a more even distribution of skilled migrants, which is a positive side-effect for the regions.

With changes like this to immigration policy, and with property prices in Auckland at an all-time high, there is now a strong incentive for migrants (especially in the skilled and business categories) to settle in the regions and outside of Auckland. This can only have positive flow-on effects for this region in terms of the introduction of capital, skills and diversity.

As professional immigration advisers, Duncan Cotterill are now starting to see some evidence that these policies are having an impact, and anecdotal evidence indicates this as well.

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