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NZers priced out of their home market - Greens

31 July 2006

New Zealanders priced out of their home market - Greens

Foreign speculators are helping to steal the own-your-own-home dreams of thousands of young and less well-off New Zealanders, Green Party Housing Spokesperson Sue Bradford says.

The latest Wizard Home Loan statistics show that homeownership has dropped by 12 percent overall - 21 percent in those with personal incomes under $40,000 a year.

"New Zealanders, particularly young people and those on low incomes, are not able to compete in a housing market that has been artificially inflated, particularly by wealthy overseas-based investors who have been buying up our land and houses.

"The Green Party has no problem at all with foreigners wanting to buy residential property here as long as they are prepared to live here for at least six months of each year. What we don't want is for this country to become just a holiday home for billionaires or an investment opportunity for overseas landlords.

"The effect that years of this free-for-all foreign-owner spend-up has had on property prices is clearly evident in these latest figures," Ms Bradford says.

"The Green Party believes it is clearly time for the Government to investigate the option of introducing a capital gains tax on all but the family home.

"The Government should also be encouraging homeownership by increasing the stock of public housing. A larger pool of state houses will mean that owning private rentals becomes a less attractive option for investors. This could help to soften the almost impossibly high cost of entering the home ownership market.

"We also support introducing more Government moves to increase the number of low and middle income people to own their own homes.

"We don't want to live in a country where the dream of home ownership can only come true for the rich and for foreign investors," Ms Bradford says.

ENDS

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