Foreign buyers ban

PHOTO: LIZ MCDONALD/STUFFForeign buyers are largely out of the market – but were they really that much of an influence, anyway?

In August 2018, Parliament introduced a ban on foreign buyers purchasing existing homes in New Zealand. The Coalition Government hailed the ban as a way to take some of the heat out of the property market and keep speculators away from Aotearoa’s shores.

Overseas buyers, notably cash-rich buyers from Asia, were blamed for inflating New Zealand house prices and exacerbating the lack of supply in our major cities. The ban, which came into effect in October 2018, immediately curtailed investments from non-NZ residents in most of our housing stock.

Just over a year later, economists question whether the ban has made a difference to New Zealand’s housing problems. To critics, the ban was little more than a political ploy that has had a marginal impact on the wider market. Supporters say it was one of many measures needed to improve housing affordability.


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