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Number of offshore buyers could be 3-4 times higher

The Government’s selective and misleading presentation of foreign buyers’ data means the number of offshore speculators operating in the New Zealand housing market could be as much as three to four times higher than Nick Smith claims, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“The Government excluded trusts and companies for the bizarre reason that too many of them claimed to be offshore.

“When you add back in the trusts and companies – as well as those buyers excluded from calculations because they rushed to sign a contract before the new law came in – the true number would be higher.

“Reasonable analysis of the Government’s own raw data suggests there could be three to four times more houses being sold to offshore speculators; closer to 16,000 a year than the 3390 the Housing Minister is claiming.

“Problems with how they asked the questions could mean the actual number is even higher than 16,000.

“The Government chose the timeframe, designed the survey, omitted information it didn’t like and have cynically released the data to support their stubborn denial that foreign buyers are pushing up house prices.

“This is shabby politics. It’s time for National to stop the spin, commit to a searchable register of property ownership and – while they’re at it – ban foreigners from buying existing houses,” Phil Twyford says.