House prices in New Zealand, and particularly in Auckland, have risen disproportionately compared to peoples incomes for the past thirty years. This has been partly due to wealthy foreigners buying properties as residences and holiday homes, throughout the country, driving up the property prices.

Compared with New Zealander’s incomes, housing prices in the country are among the highest in the world, although the situation has improved somewhat over the last year. The average price for a house in New Zealand is around 360000 US dollars, while the average price for a property in Auckland is approximately 550000 US dollars.

According to recent statistics, around three per cent of residential properties in New Zealand have been bought by foreigners, but this figure rises to five per cent in and around Queenstown, and to twenty-two per cent in Auckland.

New Zealand Prohibits the Purchase of Residential Properties by International Buyers

In an attempt to alleviate rising property prices, the government of New Zealand has now passed legislation to prohibit foreigners from buying residential property in New Zealand. The ban is in place since August 2018 and has closed the housing market to international investors.

The exceptions are international buyers that have residency status in New Zealand, and people from Singapore and Australia, who are still eligible to buy homes in New Zealand, thanks to agreements around fair-trade that already existed. Limited investments in hotels and large apartment blocks by foreign investors will still be possible. The new legislation won’t affect foreigners who own a home in New Zealand already.

The New Zealand government believes that the legislation will enable the people of New Zealand to buy homes at a price they can afford, and fulfil their dreams of home ownership, without being outbid by wealthy foreign bidders. The opposition believes that the bill is unnecessary, and won’t fix the problem.