Land sales to foreigners drop

20:33, Sep 03 2012
tdn crafer stand
FOREIGN OWNER: The Crafar farms were sold to Chinese interests despite a challenge from some iwi and business people.

Sales of New Zealand land to foreigners are down 72 per cent in the wake of a fall in carbon-credit prices, the Wall Street Journal reports today.

Quoting Overseas Investment Office data, it says foreigners bought 25,484 hectares of land in the seven months to July 31, down 72 per cent from 90,284 hectares in the same period a year earlier.

Chinese investors purchased more than 19,502 hectares of land in the seven-month period.

LJ Hooker rural real estate agent Warwick Searle told WSJ recent investment in New Zealand has been mainly in forestry, to exploit the previously high carbon credit price.

He said this was no longer as attractive for foreign investors due to current weakness in carbon prices and uncertainty about the future of carbon trading.