9 Dec 2014

Foreign investor register on Govt radar

3:54 pm on 9 December 2014

The Government is considering whether it is worth setting up a register to track how many foreign investors buy property in New Zealand, Finance Minister Bill English says.

Minister Responsible for Housing NZ, Bill English

Bill English Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Mr English said the Government had already conceded it was prepared to consider the idea.

But he remained sceptical about just how effective a register of foreign buyers would be.

"There's a question of the cost and complexity of getting the data and then what you can actually use it for other you know than political debate."

Mr English said a lack of supply remained the biggest pressure on the housing market and that was what the Government was focused on.

Land Information Minister Louise Upston said she asked Land Information New Zealand a few months ago whether it had any data around foreign buyers but that there was no timeframe on when officials had to report back because it was not a priority for the Government.

There was a big issue around housing supply, she said.

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