Fewer house sales to foreign buyers

There does not appear to have been a surge of foreign house buyers trying to get into New Zealand's housing market, before new rules disqualified them.

A year ago, for the quarter to September, the percentage of home transfers to overseas buyers across the country was 2.3%, but that dropped to 2% for the September quarter this year, according to Statistics New Zealand data.

Around Otago, including Queenstown Lakes district and Dunedin, the percentage of foreign buyers remains in a range of about 2%-5%.

Changes to the Overseas Investment Act, which came into force on October 22, stop foreigners not intending to live here from buying most home types, except newly built apartment blocks.

Because of free trade deals, residents of Australia and Singapore are exempt from the new regulations.

In the Auckland inner city, 9.8% of homes sales were to people who did not hold New Zealand citizenship or a resident visa, down from 22% in the June 2018 quarter, SNZ's property statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said.

''This quarter's share of overseas buyers in Auckland's inner-city is similar to the 9.3% of home transfers to overseas people in the September 2017 quarter,'' she said.

Across the wider Auckland region, 4% of home transfers were to people who did not hold New Zealand citizenship or a resident visa.

Around Otago for the September quarter, 2.6% of sales were to foreign buyers, unchanged from last year.

In the Queenstown Lakes district the figure declined from 6.6% last year to 5.2%.

In Dunedin, foreign buyers rose from 1.7% to 2.1%.

The number of homes involved was 48 for Otago overall, including 21 homes in Queenstown Lakes and 18 in Dunedin.

Auckland again topped the list for home transfers involving non-New Zealand citizens or resident-visa holders with 414 property transfers, followed by Hamilton's 42 and Queenstown-Lakes district's 21.

There were 35,634 property transfers involving a home in the quarter, up 3.7% from September 2017.

Of those, 79% were to at least one New Zealand citizen and 8.4% were to at least one New Zealand-resident visa holder.

A total of 10% were to corporate entities, that could have had New Zealand or overseas owners, BusinessDesk reported.

SNZ took over the task of publishing the home transfer statistics from Land Information New Zealand this year in order to obtain a better picture of the housing market.

According to the statistics agency, property transfer statistics are based mainly on land transfer tax statements and capture property transfers by New Zealanders and overseas people.

This includes information on the citizenship, visa status, or tax residency of people and companies involved in property transfers, BusinessDesk reported.



No doubt they are looking at what’s happening in Australia and figured NZ is next.