Ban on overseas speculators a step closer

Legislation to ban overseas speculators from buying New Zealand homes will be introduced into Parliament tomorrow, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford and Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.

“This Government welcomes foreign investment in houses to add to our housing supply,” Phil Twyford says.

“However, purchases of homes by offshore speculators push first home-buyers and families out of the housing market.”

Phil Twyford says the legislative changes demonstrate the Government’s determination to make it easier for New Zealanders to buy their first home.

“We expect the law to be passed early next year fulfilling a key pledge in our 100 Day Plan. The previous National government said it couldn’t be done without breaching trade agreements. They just didn’t try and in doing so, they put foreign buyers ahead of New Zealanders.

“This Government prioritises home ownership and housing affordability for all New Zealanders. This Bill will ensure that house prices are set by New Zealand-based buyers, not international buyers,” Phil Twyford says.

Eugenie Sage says the legislation brings residential land within the category of sensitive land in the Overseas Investment Act.

“It will mean, for practical purposes, that foreign buyers will not be able to buy residential property unless they are either increasing the number of residences and then selling them or converting the land to another use. They will need to be able to show that this will have wider benefits to the country.

“New Zealand and Australian citizens will be exempt from the regime.

“The Bill will be introduced into Parliament tomorrow. It is our intention that it will then be sent to a Select Committee so New Zealanders can have an opportunity to comment on the details of the Bill.

“It also gives the Select Committee the opportunity to make sure the regime is set appropriately so that people who want to make New Zealand their home are not discouraged,” says Eugenie Sage.