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REINZ welcomes International Monetary Fund’s stance

REINZ welcomes International Monetary Fund’s stance on foreign buyer ban

In its recent media briefing the International Monetary Fund has criticised New Zealand’s proposed “discriminatory” ban on home sales to foreigners, saying it’s unlikely to improve housing affordability.

The IMF was quoted as saying: “Foreign buyers seem to have played a minor role in New Zealand’s residential real estate market recently. If the government’s broader housing policy agenda is fully implemented, that would address most of the potential problems associated with foreign buyers on a less discriminatory basis.”

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “The real estate industry has been saying for some time now that foreign buyers only represent a small part of the market and that we don’t think that the foreign buyer ban will have a substantial impact on improving housing affordability. Therefore, we welcome the comments from the International Monetary Fund as they are such a significant organisation internationally and clearly understand that the ban may not fundamentally improve affordability.

“REINZ is also concerned that the proposed ban may have the unintended consequences of hindering property development, reducing housing supply and adding pressure to New Zealand’s housing and rental property markets,” continues Norwell.

“We know Australia hasn’t solved its affordability problems with a foreign buyer ban, so we’re not sure that by following the same pattern as Australia that we’ll get a different outcome. Instead we need to focus on increasing levels of housing supply – and measures such as KiwiBuild and decreasing red tape will help solve that, not banning a small number of people from buying properties,” concludes Norwell.


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