28 Jul 2013

Labour wants to curb foreign homebuyers

3:03 pm on 28 July 2013

Labour wants to impose restrictions on foreign buyers of houses in a bid to reduce demand in the housing market.

"The next Labour government will introduce restrictions so that non-residents will not be allowed to buy any existing house, flat or apartment," said Labour leader David Shearer on Sunday.

Labour leader David Shearer.

Labour leader David Shearer. Photo: LABOUR PARTY

The policy will apply to buyers from every country in the world other than Australia, he said on the Q+A programme on Television New Zealand.

AAP reports the policy aims to reduce demand in the housing market from foreign speculators. Non-residents will be able to build new homes.

Mr Shearer said the rule would not apply to Australian buyers because if New Zealand stopped Australians buying homes "we would risk the possibility they would shut us out as well".

He said many countries had policies restricting non-residents from buying houses.

Inland Revenue Department records showed that more than 11,000 overseas investors owned properties in New Zealand that they didn't live in, Mr Shearer said.

"An estimated 2600 homes were bought last year by offshore property speculators that had no intention of living here.

''That's a big chunk, given that just 4700 new homes were built in Auckland last year," he said.