Key: No housing crisis, foreign buyers' influence 'minor'

Auckland housing prices are skyrocketing, but the Prime Minister says there's no crisis (Getty)
Auckland housing prices are skyrocketing, but the Prime Minister says there's no crisis (Getty)

John Key is confident the number of houses being sold to overseas investors will turn out to be "minor".

But the Prime Minister admits he hasn't yet seen any of the data, which he expects to be out in the next "week or two".

Since October last year, foreign buyers have had to have an IRD number and New Zealand bank account, and supply authorities here with their tax number back home.

Mr Key won't rule out a land tax on foreign buyers, but doesn't expect the data to prove claims they're putting upward pressure on house prices.

"That would be my personal view. I literally don't know the data," he told Paul Henry this morning.

"I still think, and the Government very much thinks it's about building more product. Ultimately, building more supply. I don't think it's a crisis, but prices are going up too quickly."

A land tax works by encouraging productive use of land, such as subdividing or encouraging business use, rather than holding onto it for tax-free capital gains.

A ban on foreign buyers, as Labour has proposed, is definitely off the cards.

"Firstly it hasn't worked in Australia, second you could probably just register a company or something that gets around that."

Prices in Auckland are well above their pre-global financial crisis peak, rising in double-digit percentages every year.

Newshub. 

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