Ban on foreign buyers in New Zealand set to have little impact, say estate agents

The upcoming ban on foreign national buying homes in New Zealand it likely to have a minimal impact, according to real estate agents.

The recently elected Government in New Zealand has pledged to prevent overseas citizens from buying property in a bid to halt increasing prices which mean that buying a home is becoming increasingly unaffordable.

Ministers have acted as they believe that foreign investors are forcing up prices but new research from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand points out that according to its members only 3.8% of buyers are from overseas.

A survey of members found that the clear majority of sales, some 63.9%, are made to locals while 29.8% are buyers from other towns or cities from within New Zealand.

In order to gain a clear picture of the situation, the survey also sought to understand the makeup of open home visitors. Again, the majority, 64.1%, were local, followed by 28% from out of town and only 4.5% from overseas while the remaining 3.4% were classed as ‘other’.

‘Given international buyers are such a small part of the market we were interested to understand what impact the Government believes the foreign buyer ban will actually have,’ said Bindi Norwell, REINZ chief executive.

‘We know when looking at Australia that a similar policy there has had little impact with Australia still remaining the third most unaffordable country in the world,’ she pointed out.

The survey also sought to understand the make-up of buyers in the market. Currently some 52.3 of buyers are owner occupiers, 26.3% are first time buyers and 14.2% are real estate investors.

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