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New Fijian development attracts buyer support

Media Release
Date 29.10.2009

New Fijian residential development attracts strong buyer support

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Initial infrastructure work at Naisoso is complete as landscaping begins on the residential sections now up for sale.

The first major residential lifestyle development to launch in Fiji for the past three years is quickly taking shape – with a sizeable chunk of properties already sold ‘off-plan’ and infrastructure works now laying down the foundations for building to commence.

Naisoso Island sits on the coastal outskirts of Nadi. It lies across the Nadi Bay from the well-known Denarau Island. Stage one of the long-term Naisoso project offers 114 residential sites – most delivering either oceanfront vistas or river and mountain views.

The lots range in size from 1220 square-metres up to 3068 square-metres, and are priced from NZ$337,000 through to NZ$1.4million. While similar in concept to the well known Denarau Island development just a few kilometers away by water, the gated Naisoso resort is being promoted as more exclusive.

More than 80 of the residential sites are already under contract. Leading New Zealand real estate sales firm Bayleys has been appointed marketing agency for the remaining residential sites, and to handle the sale and marketing of the next stages of the Naisoso development.

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Following the stage one sell down of residential sections, the next phase of development will begin at the south-western section of the island. The next stage will include construction of 170 beachfront apartments, followed by the building of four and five-star hotels, then stage one of a retail marina centre followed by terraced villas overlooking the marina, and the addition of a health spa.

Naisoso developer Bob Lowres said the bulk of Naisoso’s residential land sites have been sold through the company’s Fijian operations. Buyers were predominantly New Zealanders, Fijians and Australians – some of whom had existing homes on Denarau Island either as permanent residences or holiday homes.

Targeted completion date for stage one work on Naisoso is December 2010, and Mr Lowres expects the first homes to be completed around the same time the following year. Roading access over the island is anticipated to be completed by the first quarter of 2010, with channeling works to be completed by February 2010, and landscaping works scheduled to begin in June next year.

Mr Lowres was quick to distance Naisoso from some of the troubled real estate developments in Fiji. ANZ is financing the project, with additional funding from the Fiji Development Bank.

“Naisoso is totally different from a number of perspectives,” Mr Lowres said. “Firstly, the land is freehold, not leasehold. That’s a very important factor to consider - as only eight percent of land in Fiji is freehold.

“Secondly, Naisoso stage one is a residential lifestyle development. We’re not pushing this as an investment opportunity to hold onto for a few years and then on-sell.

“The buyers of Naisoso sites are people who will either be living permanently on the
island, or who will be spending a sizeable portion of each year living in their homes here.”

Countering any nervousness over rising sea levels as a consequence of global warming, Naisoso has been designed and raised to be significantly higher above sea level than the neighbouring Nadi Bay properties. Additionally, 3.5 kilometres of beach is being re-established around Naisoso’s sea frontage. Golden sand being brought into the resort will stretch out up to 100 metres seaward.

Bayleys Real Estate Naisoso project manager Liz Montgomerie said Fijian waterfront property still retained an historically strong attraction for New Zealanders – particularly those who sought to spend their New Zealand winters based in Fiji, where the daytime temperature was typically in the low to mid-20s.

“At just three hours flying time, Fiji has always been a favourite holiday destination for many New Zealanders. Now however, there is a growing number of New Zealanders who have large ‘second’ homes in Fiji,” said Liz Montgomerie, who splits her time between homes and offices in Auckland and Fiji.

“With Fiji being on the same time zone as New Zealand, and with an excellent telecommunications network, it means someone like myself can log into their computer in Fiji and conduct their business activities with relative ease while enjoying the climate and ‘palm tree’ lifestyle.

“I’ve been doing it myself for some years now, and can vouch that Auckland to Nadi is one of the most enjoyable ‘commutes’ you could ever ask for.”

Liz Montgomerie said that with some 80 sites already sold down at Naisoso, and this during a recession, there was obvious support for a new style of freehold residential development in Fiji where title of ownership was assured.

“The strong level of interest already shown in Naisoso indicates buyers are taking a long-term view of their purchase with a view to establishing ‘homes’ of substance,” Liz Montgomerie said.

“This is exactly the vision Bob Lowres has for stage one of Naisoso. Many of those property owners already committed to the Naisoso project are professional locals and ex-pat’s who are moving away from the suburban feel of Denarau and similar developments, to a more state-of-the-art location.”


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