According to Juwai.com, Chinese homebuyers have now placed New Zealand on their list of the top 10 most searched countries, reports The New Zealand Herald (2 April 2014). Back in 2012, New Zealand was not even in the top 50 countries of interest for Chinese property investors. Today, Chinese buyer interest has expanded beyond popular hot spots Auckland and Wellington â€“ investors are increasingly looking towards smaller regions like Kerikeri, Nelson, Kaiteriteri, Paihia and Gisborne. Based on Juwai data, Chinese interest in New Zealand increased as much as 89% last year to land at #9 on the top 10 list â€“ just ahead of sunny Spain. Reigning at the top of the list was the US. In terms of city preference, Auckland was the favourite city for the Chinese, followed by Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Taupo. According to Andrew Taylor, Juwai.com Co-CEO, "It used to be that New Zealand was unknown in China. It didn't even appear in the top 20 destinations. But the Chinese have begun to learn about it. The New Zealand brand in China is high quality, natural and attractive." He also highlighted that Chinese buyers tend to be long-term investment homebuyers, and the norm is to purchase homes as their children's abode while pursuing education in New Zealand.