New Zealand PM to ban house sales to foreign buyers

New Zealand PM to ban house sales to foreign buyers

New Zealand PM to ban house sales to foreign buyers

In a move aimed at dealing with New Zealand’s housing crisis, the country’s incoming Prime Minister has pledged to ban the sale of existing homes to foreign buyers.

New Zealand is a popular property investment location, but it’s uncertain how the ban will affect expats wishing to buy their homes. According to media reports, other countries whose housing markets have been affected by investment from overseas will be tracking the move with interest.

During the past decade, New Zealand has become popular with the wealthy as a bolthole in which to hide from nuclear conflict and other apocalyptic scenarios including civil unrest and terrorism. Interest from Asian, Australian and Chinese buyers as well as wealthy US citizens fearing the final results of the Trump presidency has sent property prices soaring across both the North and South islands. Internet and global hedge fund billionaires are rumoured to be secretly buying up farms and airstrips in preparation for a fast getaway.

In spite of reports and rumours, official statistics for the last quarter’s recorded 1.16 million acres of land sales also showed just three per cent were made by overseas tax registered buyers, most of whom were registered in the UK, USA or Hong Kong. Whatever the truth of the reports, domestic buyers are being forced out of the market as prices continue to soar.

25 per cent of New Zealand’s total population own their own homes, with a large proportion of the remainder simply unable to afford to buy. At the present time, the ban is expected to only apply to non-domiciles, presumably leaving expats free to purchase property should they so wish. However, many other good ideas put forward in the political sphere seem to have morphed into wider bans without taking into account the final consequences.

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