New Zealand Prohibits Immigrants From Purchasing Houses

News related to immigration in countries other than the United States often goes relatively unnoticed. However, one of the latest developments in immigration at an international level comes from New Zealand, where many foreigners will now be unable to purchase homes.

This legislation applies to all non-residents living in New Zealand except Australians and Singaporeans, due to the free-trade deals between the countries. New Zealand is adopting this measure in response to a recent housing affordability crisis. The crisis was mainly brought on by low interest rates, limited housing stock, and what many see as a rising presence of immigrants in the country.

New Zealand recently passed the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill, which included this latest change in legislation, with a relatively narrow 63-57  approval rate. Non-residents will still able to purchase investments in new apartments, and foreigners who already have residency status in the country will not be affected by the bill at all.

New Zealand’s Trade and Economic Development, Minister David Parker, expressed his support for the bill in a quite upfront manner:

This government believes that New Zealanders should not be outbid by wealthier foreign buyers. Whether it’s a beautiful lakeside or ocean-front estate, or a modest suburban house, this law ensures that the market for our homes is set in New Zealand, not on the international market.”

This recent legislation did not come as a complete surprise, as New Zealanders have been debating ways to fix their country’s housing problem for years. In fact, last year’s election results were largely based on policies related to immigration. The overall topic of housing and rising prices has been greatly discussed among the international community. The effect which foreign investment and home purchases have had on many countries’ housing prices is also of concern for many specialists.


Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons

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