New Zealand Labour Party

Foreign buyers’ data selective and ineffective

The Government’s newly released foreign buyer data doesn’t give an accurate picture because it was collected at a time when offshore speculators had temporarily deserted the market, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“For most of the six months this information was collected, the Auckland housing market was in a temporary lull. Most analysts attributed this to the new requirement for foreign buyers to register with the Inland Revenue and the Chinese Government’s crackdown on illegal financial transfers out of China.

“It also excludes trusts and businesses. A further 45 per cent of the Auckland sales were also excluded because of exemptions for those buying family homes and those who signed contracts before the law came in.

“As a contribution to the housing debate, this data is effectively useless. Even the chief executive of Land Information says he is not confident in the data.

“The fact that this data is so limited and the Government has selectively released parts of it, underlines the need for a proper searchable register of foreign property ownership – as is the policy in Australia and the United Kingdom.

“It’s not good enough that the Government can manipulate the data to serve its own purposes. This data is not worth the paper it’s printed on.

“The Government is out of touch with the 70 per cent of New Zealanders that support Labour’s policy to ban offshore speculators from buying existing homes. National should back my Bill when it comes before Parliament next month, instead of supporting foreign speculators against the interests of Kiwi first homebuyers,” Phil Twyford says.