Foreign interest for local properties

Tuesday 20 April 2021 | Written by Alana Musselle | Published in Economy

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Foreign interest for local properties

The future of real estate in the Cook Islands is looking to be more promising than ever, with overseas investors showing a high interest especially in the light of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

A leading Cook Islands real estate agency is attracting interests from overseas buyers who are wanting to invest in local properties.

Jeff Tikitau Real Estate Limited has listed a number of residential and commercial properties for sale.

According to the company spokesperson Wilkie Rasmussen: “There is no heavy increase nor decrease in properties being put up on the market, however there are a few fairly serious interests in the Cook Islands from overseas buyers.”

“This has certainly been a difficult time for property and business owners who have suffered immensely in attempts to keep themselves afloat, and although businesses are certainly under pressure to sell, the aid of the government’s subsidy money has provided them with extra time.”
Property value has certainly not decreased, with many owners using this time to undergo renovations which are sure to further heighten the interests of future investors.

A minor standstill for the industry due to Covid-19 is proving to be more of a “time issue” than one that is affecting property value. “Investors are not running away and real estate is certainly not in dire straits. On the contrary more opportunities are seeming to open up,” said Rasmussen.

One of the island’s most renowned restaurants in Arorangi has been on the market for nearly two years now.
The owner, who wished not to be named, stated that there has definitely been interest from overseas buyers especially during the lockdown period in New Zealand where people were inside and pondering about potential futures in Covid-free countries.

Time seems to be the only issue for these investors. “Once borders are open, they are sure to pounce,” the owner said.

Rasmussen said: “Countries like the United States have their eye on the Cook Islands right now, with their interests sparked by Jeff Tikitau Real Estate’s fairly international profile.”

These investors are interested in approaching the Cooks as it is a desirable location for the entertainment and film industry. The Cook Islands first of all being relatively unheard of in the eyes of major first world countries create appeal for this industry, along with being Covid-free and with no giant rush of media presence.

“We are in the process of developing business strategies that will accommodate those interested and that will satisfy the government’s rules and regulations of how and why overseas investors should be allowed in, with regards to investment, and investment codes especially for foreigners,” said Rasmussen.

“Those interested will have to demonstrate to us that they are serious about investing in our country concerning this particular industry of film. Extremely delicate care will be taken to ensure that the country’s resources, culture and local heritage will not be exploited as a result of these potential investments.”

As the country continues to heal and deal with the repercussions of the collapsed tourism industry, a refreshing concept approaches over the horizon sparking hopes for a promising future filled with opportunity for the real estate industry.