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Foreign capital vital to build more houses

News that developers of an upscale apartment complex in Auckland can sell units to foreigners shows the flakiness of the Government’s decision to restrict the supply of foreign capital, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“National welcomes the decision by the Overseas Investment Office to grant an exemption for foreign investors in the $300 million-$400 million Pacifica apartment building. The Government has tried to make a virtue out of restricting foreign buyers, starving the market of the funds to grow and meet demand.

“Overseas capital has always helped drive our economic growth and shutting the door to it just means other countries get the benefit instead. But this Government campaigned and passed a law to restrict foreign buyers purchasing New Zealand homes.

“In the lead up to the election Labour’s Phil Twyford, now Housing Minister, ran a scare campaign, claiming buyers with ‘Chinese sounding names’ were not real New Zealanders deserving of a home, and were responsible for ‘pricing first-home buyers out of the market’.

“New Zealand’s capital markets aren’t deep enough to meet all of our funding needs, be it highways or apartments or prisons. If we want more apartments built we need foreign capital.

“The Government has made it harder for developers, like those behind the Pacifica apartments, forcing them to jump through hoops which slows developments like these down. But having foreign buyers interested in apartments adds credibility and mitigates risks.

“We welcome the Government ensuring this investor and developer doesn’t take their millions of dollars and new apartments overseas. Because without foreign capital, fewer houses are built.”

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