NZ economist wants Aussie investors banned

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A top New Zealand economist believes Australians should be banned from buying property in New Zealand amid allegations that Australian investors are contributing to skyrocketing house prices.

Research released by NAB-owned Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) last week revealed that Australians bought more New Zealand property than any other overseas group.

BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander said Aussies are the biggest single group of overseas buyers in New Zealand, accounting for 22% of all property purchases by foreigners. This is as the New Zealand Herald reported that close to one in 10 property sales in the island country go to foreigners.

Alexander told the New Zealand Herald that something needs to be changed if the issue is housing affordability. “[One] will need to take buyers out of the market which are not the ones we think deserve to buy affordable housing,” he argued.

"That means something like a law banning second property purchases, banning purchases by foreigners and forcing people to sell houses they own but are not occupying, perhaps because they are overseas."

New Zealand is currently one of the few countries in the world which doesn’t impose stamp duty in the form of a tax on a property purchase. The country also applies no capital gains taxation on property sales and has few restrictions on foreign ownership.

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