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REINZ welcomes softened stance on Overseas Investment Bill

REINZ welcomes softened stance on Overseas Investment Amendment Bill but still believes ban won’t solve housing price issues

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) welcomes some of the changes proposed by the Finance and Expenditure Committee in relation to the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill but still believes that the foreign buyer ban won’t solve New Zealand’s housing affordability issues.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “We welcome the fact that the Select Committee has listened to some of the criticisms around restrictions on off-the-plan sales. Allowing up to 60% of apartments to be purchased by offshore buyers will ensure that we don’t constrain supply, which was one of REINZ’s largest concerns in relation to the ban.

“Additionally, the loosening of the requirement for developers to relinquish ownership of properties once they have been built is another positive.

“We’re also extremely pleased that 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, however, having responsibility sitting with the purchaser is the logical and most effective place to have this.

“However, it is still our view, that it’s not worth going ahead with a ban on foreign buyers. The recent figures released by Statistics NZ show that for the March 2018 quarter only 3.3% or 627 out of 19,014 of all property transfers were to people who didn’t hold New Zealand citizenships or resident visas. We don’t believe that the ban will resolve any housing affordability issues given the proportion of sales to overseas buyers is so low.”

ENDS

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