Government bans foreign buyers from 2018

Foreign speculators will be shut out of the New Zealand housing market from next year, thanks to the Labour government. File photo.

Foreign speculators will no longer be able to buy houses in New Zealand from early next year.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the government is determined to make it easier for Kiwis to buy their first home.

“So we are stopping foreign speculators buying houses and driving up prices. Kiwis should not be outbid like this.

“That is why we are introducing an amendment to the Overseas Investment Act to classify residential housing as “sensitive”. This means non-residents or non-citizens cannot purchase existing residential dwellings.”

Australians will be exempt from the policy, as New Zealanders are in Australia.

“We expect legislation to be introduced before Christmas and take effect immediately once passed early in 2018. This will fulfil one of our key 100 Day Plan pledges,” says Jacinda.

“The previous National government chose to put foreign speculators ahead of Kiwi families, but we have chosen to protect Kiwi families and New Zealand's best interests.

“That government claimed this could not done without breaching other free trade agreements and that a stamp duty would be the only effective tool.

“The advice we have had from officials is that we can give effect to the ban by a simple amendment to the Overseas Investment Act without breaching any agreement except the Singapore Closer Economic Partnership. The options with Singapore will be worked through.

“The proposed change means we can move our focus away from land issues at the negotiating table at APEC when negotiations on the TPP reach their final stages, and focus on Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses.

“We are concerned by ISDS clauses in the proposed agreement. These confer greater rights on multi-national companies investing in New Zealand than a New Zealand company has.

“We remain determined to do our utmost to amend the ISDS provisions of TPP. In addition, Cabinet has today instructed trade negotiation officials to oppose ISDS in any future free trade agreements.

The policy change is supported by all parties involved in the government.

“New Zealanders should be assured that the government I lead will have their best interests at heart when negotiating any free trade agreements,” says Jacinda.



4 Comments

TPP and ISDS

Posted on 01-11-2017 12:22 | By morepork

Very pleased to see the ISDS agreements coming under better scrutiny. This gives mult-national Corporations powers above the State and renders our democracy pointless. If Big Business wants to do something they are not blocked by the Law of the land. It SHOULD be a deal-breaker, but the Corporations just say: "if you want our business you need to give us wiggle room." For me, I'd rather see NO TPP than have it on these conditions.

Pointless as usual

Posted on 01-11-2017 10:51 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Obviously Labour have not noticed that Auckland houses have started to drop, like before this announcement. So overseas buyers are not the issue here, the real issues are: lack of land so prices rise, lack of trademan to build so prices go up, Unity plan limiting availability of land and also ading huge costs to development through to issue of title. When these meaningful issues are allowed for and the simple fact that the market has already died in Auckland means overseas buyers are not the reason prices are rising.

First Home Buyers

Posted on 31-10-2017 21:03 | By phoenix

The percentage of houses sold to first home buyers in the past year was 25% The highest number in over a Decade. Seems like a new gvt. is trying to position itself to take the Kudos for achieving this result after it has already happened.

Homes

Posted on 31-10-2017 18:40 | By Tikety boo

Homes should be for New Zealanders not for overseas speculators to make profits off and return the profits back overseas.At last a government that will tackle this issue.Also to much of our farmland is being sold to overseas interests.

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The moon peeping through the clouds at Pillans Point. Photo: Mike Berry.

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