National continues to mislead with selective foreign buyers data

The Government continues to mislead the public about foreign speculators with its selective data underestimating their impact on the New Zealand housing market by up to 75 per cent, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.

“National has removed the ability for corporations and trusts to be identified as foreign so has skewed the data from the start. They have also counted foreign students and temporary workers who don’t intend to stay in the country or live in the home they’ve bought as New Zealanders.

“Both these groups would be excluded from buying existing properties under Labour’s policy to ban non-resident foreign buyers.

“The Land Information data shows 2,300 properties were bought by non-residents in the last three months. A further 5,700 were bought by people here on temporary visas who did not intend to occupy the property.

“That’s 8000 houses sold to foreign buyers in the past three months – 13 per cent of total sales and four times the number the Government is claiming.

“National also continues to fudge the data by counting any property bought via a corporation or trust as a domestic sale. This is demonstrably misleading.

“Since the initial foreign data was released all New Zealand’s major banks have stopped lending to foreign buyers. They accept what National refuses to – that foreign buyers are a significant presence in housing market.

“National should back Kiwi families and first homebuyers, instead of protecting offshore investors. That’s what Labour would do.

“Only Labour has a comprehensive plan to address the housing crisis. We’ll crack down on speculators and embark on a government-backed affordable house building programme,” Andrew Little says.