New Zealand Moves To Ban Foreigners From Buying Homes

"We stand strongly in favour of the view that housing is a right, " Ardern said.

"We must find a solution to allow us to ban overseas buyers of existing New Zealand homes for us to proceed with TPP11", the newspaper quoted Parker as saying. The ban is meant to reduce demand in what the prime minister is calling a housing crisis.

The ban-which would not apply to Australians due to the number of New Zealanders who live there-would go into effect in a few months.

"We need to acknowledge that we are - unless we make dramatic changes - at the front of seeing refugees as a result of climate change, and so we see a duty of care there both to champion internationally the importance of responding to climate change, but also doing our bit". In Auckland, the country's most populous city, prices have almost doubled in that same period, according to Reuters. "Kiwis should not be outbid like this".

September data from the Real Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) showed the country's largest city of Auckland had a median home price of $845,000 New Zealand dollars ($582,000). It is the fourth least affordable housing market in the world, after Hong Kong, Sydney, and Vancouver.

"This is a policy that's created to solve a political problem, " said Steven Joyce, the National Party's finance spokesman.

She said legislation governing overseas investment into the country will be amended to classify residential housing as "sensitive" and introduce a new test for residency.

That was what the previous Government did with Australia: a side letter between the two countries, signed at the same time as the main TPP deal, agreed that investors from either Australia or New Zealand would not be able to use the ISDS against their respective countries. Member states will seek an agreement on the TPP at an APEC meeting in Vietnam next week. She blames them for soaring prices that have left many New Zealanders unable to enter the property market.

Jacobi is sceptical that New Zealand could win any meaningful changes, given the advanced stage of talks and the fear that the deal could fall over if exceptions start to be made. The domestic law change on foreigners buying homes provides Ms Ardern with a work-around.

She said the ban would not affect most existing free-trade agreements and would be enacted before the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade deal that 11 nations, including Japan and Australia, are considering signing.

"We have agreement on banning the purchase of existing homes by foreign buyers", Ardern said, while also announcing plans to cut immigration.

She said the legislation will be in place before Christmas and once passed, will take effect early next year.

  • Rogelio Becker