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Bill restricts offshore speculators buying kiwi homes

Phil TWYFORD

Housing Spokesperson

5 December 2013                                            MEDIA STATEMENT

Bill restricts offshore speculators buying kiwi homes

Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is promoting a Bill that would restrict the ability of offshore speculators to buy residential property. The Bill has been placed in today’s Members’ ballot. 

“The Bill is a response to current housing market woes which have seen Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) lending limits drive first home buyers out of the market, leaving a free hand to speculators both foreign and domestic.

“It is part of a comprehensive housing affordability plan that will restore the Kiwi dream of home ownership that has slipped out of reach for tens of thousands of Kiwis. I don’t want to see our kids become a generation that has no choice but to rent.

“The average house price in Auckland went up $677 a day in November. Census data released this week showed home ownership has dropped from 67 per cent to 65 per cent nationally since 2006.

“That’s why my Bill if passed will allow only New Zealand citizens and residents to buy any existing house, flat or apartment.

“Many other countries, including Australia, China, Singapore, the UK and Switzerland target overseas speculation in housing. New Zealand’s lack of regulation leaves the door wide open.

“IRD records show that more than 11,000 overseas investors own properties here that they don’t live in. An estimated 2,600 homes were bought last year by offshore property speculators that had no intention of living here. That’s a big chunk, given that just 4,700 new homes were built in Auckland last year.

“This policy will reduce demand and help take some of the heat out of the market. It will put Kiwi buyers at the front of the queue. By itself this is not a silver bullet for housing affordability – but it is part of the solution. 

“It sits alongside Labour’s KiwiBuild policy to build 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years for first time buyers, and our plan to tax property speculation. Together these policies will increase the supply of entry-level housing and reduce speculation-driven demand.

ENDS

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