House buyer ban maintained

Bindi Norwell. Photo: Linda Robertson
Bindi Norwell. Photo: Linda Robertson
The Government is pressing on with its ban on overseas buyers of existing houses.

Associate Finance Minister David Parker said the law would ensure the market for homes was a New Zealand one, not an international market.

''It is also a matter of values. We believe from the most expensive seaside and lakeside properties to the most modest homes in our towns and cities, New Zealanders should not be outbid by wealthier foreign buyers.''

The Bill putting in place the Government's policy of overseas buyers of existing houses had been reported back to Parliament by the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.

Under the new regime, overseas investors would be able to invest in new housing, particularly apartments, new rentals, and homes available to buy under rent-to-own or shared-equity arrangements, Mr Parker said.

All permanent residents and resident visa-holders who spent the majority of their time in New Zealand would be able to buy homes under the regime without obtaining consent.

Citizens of Australia and Singapore citizens and residents would be treated the same as New Zealand citizens and residents.

If the current number of Singapore buyers materially increased, the two countries had agreed to meet to discuss the cause of the increase and how to address it, if required, he said.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive Bindi Norwell welcomed some of the changes proposed in the Bill but still believed the foreign buyer ban would not solve New Zealand's housing affordability issues.

Allowing up to 60% of apartments to be bought by offshore buyers would ensure supply was not constrained, one of the institute's largest concerns in relation to the ban.

Loosening the requirement for developers to relinquish ownership of properties once they had been built was also positive, she said.

''We're also extremely pleased we have clarity around where the responsibility lies for ensuring a person complies with the Act. It was proposed to have real estate agents certify compliance with the Act. Having responsibility sitting with the purchasers is the logical and most effective place to have this.''

The institute maintained it was not worth going ahead with a ban on foreign buyers, Ms Norwell said.

Figures released by Statistics New Zealand showed for the three months ending March 2018, only 3.3%, or 627, of 19,014 property transfers were to people who did not hold New Zealand citizenship or a resident visa.

''We don't believe the ban will resolve any housing affordability issues, given the proportion of sales to overseas buyers is so low.''

Comments

"Figures released by Statistics New Zealand showed for the three months ending March 2018, only 3.3%, or 627, of 19,014 property transfers were to people who did not hold New Zealand citizenship or a resident visa."
Typical Labour, blaming others, then fighting shadows instead of looking within for the cause and yes, the media loves to play that game too.
NZ doesn't have the capicity to build.
It has a shortfall of 52,000 men between the ages of 20 and 45 because they would rather live somewhere else.
It has another 9800 men locked up in prisions.
It let apprenticeship training fall through the floor while promoting elitist University courses that produce nothing but debt for those sucked into them.
It then places a few group identities above others in the government job market, regulating competence to the status of, "nice to have".
This is the cause of the disease.
National just went along for the ride so they are just as complicit.

 

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