NZ Labour plans curb on foreign home buyers

New Zealand's opposition Labour Party is adopting a policy of restricting foreign ownership of residential properties, but Australian buyers will be exempt.

New Zealand's opposition Labour Party is adopting a policy of restricting foreign ownership of residential properties, but Australian buyers will be exempt.

"The next Labour government will introduce restrictions so that non-residents will not be allowed to buy any existing house, flat or apartment," Labour leader David Shearer said.

The policy will apply to buyers from every country in the world other than Australia, Mr Shearer said.

The policy aims to reduce demand in the housing market from foreign speculators.

Non-residents will be able to build new homes.

Mr Shearer said the rule would not apply to Australian buyers because if New Zealand stopped Australians buying homes "we would risk the possibility they would shut us out as well".

Inland Revenue Department records showed that more than 11,000 overseas investors owned New Zealand properties they didn't live in, Mr Shearer said.

"An estimated 2600 homes were bought last year by offshore property speculators who had no intention of living here. That's a big chunk, given that just 4700 new homes were built in Auckland last year," he said.

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