Auckland’s skyline from a lookout above Devonport. (Photo:Wikimedia Commons)
In a bid to address housing affordability crisis, New Zealand eyes to ban foreign buyers from acquiring existing homes within the country, reported BBC.
“We have agreed on banning the purchase of existing homes by foreign buyers,” said Prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern, while noting that the restriction will only apply to non-residents.
The restriction comes amid fears that foreign property buyers were putting too much pressure on home prices. Chinese investors emerged as one of the biggest offshore buyers of homes in New Zealand.
Ardern, who has previously said that capitalism was a “blatant failure” in providing homes for the poor, also unveiled plans to cut immigration as well as focus on job creation.
Notably, the hike in New Zealand home prices in recent years have been driven by strong immigration, limited housing supply and low-interest rate environment.
And while home price growth has slowed over the past year, it continues to be the highest in the world.
A Knight Frank survey showed, that annual house price growth within the country stood at 10.4 percent, pushing it to 10th from 3rd place in the ranking.
Its capital, Wellington, saw house prices increase by 18.1 percent in the year to June 2017, while prices in Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, climbed by 9.8 percent.
This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.