New Zealand takes the step SA once contemplated, with curbs on foreign property buyers
New Zealand house prices have risen 30% in the past five years, pricing locals out of the market — but critics are not convinced foreign buyers are behind the surge
New Zealand has done something SA briefly contemplated doing, when it passed a law this week banning (most) foreigners from buying existing homes in the country, in an effort to cool a market that is pricing out many locals. The exceptions are Singaporeans and Australians, thanks to New Zealand’s free trade agreements with those countries. New Zealanders are also exempt from Australia’s similar restrictions barring foreigners from buying existing homes. In both countries, foreigners may buy properties in new developments. "The [Australian] government’s policy is to channel foreign investment into new dwellings as this creates additional jobs in the construction industry and helps support economic growth," the government says on its website. "Foreign investment applications are therefore generally considered in light of the overarching principle that the proposed investment should increase Australia’s housing stock (be creating at least one new additional dwelling)."