Govt considering stamp duty on foreign buyers

Prime Minister John Key (Simon Wong)
Prime Minister John Key (Simon Wong)

Prime Minister John Key isn't ruling out new measures to clamp down on foreign buyers, including a stamp duty. That's a one-off tax payment each time a foreigner wants to buy.

The Government has long denied foreign buyers are pushing up house prices in Auckland. But with Labour's targeting of Chinese buyers, the political heat is hotter than ever. Suddenly, the Government may take further action.

In a big move, Mr Key is now leaving the door open to a stamp duty. If that were hypothetically set at 15 percent, a foreigner buying an $850,000 house would have to pay a $127,000 tax.

Labour wants to ban foreign buyers. But Mr Key has ruled that out and says the controversial TPP trade agreement could stop the Government from doing it anyway.

The Government's stance on foreign buyers is changing quite rapidly. The latest 3News/Reid Research poll shows 61 percent of voters want to ban foreign buyers.

It's clearly an issue for people, and if Mr Key wants to stay on the right side of the public he may yet have to act, at the least with a tax.

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