Ban on foreign buyers in New Zealand unlikely to have much impact on sales

The upcoming ban on foreigners buying existing properties in New Zealand is expected to have a minimal impact on residential sales according to new research.

A survey of its members by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) found that just 3.8% of buyers in the non-new homes market are from overseas.

Bindi Norwell, REINZ chief executive, explained that there is minimal data available on the number of homes going to overseas buyers so the survey aimed to find out more.

It also showed that 63.9% of sales go to local buyers while 29.8% go to buyers from other towns or cities from within New Zealand. A more detailed look at the figures shows that the majority open home viewers were local at 64.1%, followed by 28% from out of town and only 4.5% from overseas.

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

The survey also sought to understand the make-up of buyers in the market. Currently most purchasers are owner occupiers at 52.3% while 26.3% are first time buyers and 14.2% are investors.

It also showed that 79.6% of buyers have bought their main home to live in, 12.1% bought to rent out for an income and 6.9% bought a holiday home.