Foreign buyer ban 'too late' - real estate agents

Real estate agents who sell to Chinese buyers are saying the Government's foreign buyers ban is too late.

Interest from China has already slumped, after banks tightened lending conditions.

"The traffic from mainland China to visiting our website has dropped from 40 percent last September,"'s Sam Yin said.

"October to the recent, it's only about 18 percent.

"I think, last year, the big four banks already cut the mortgage, so people can't really buy the mortgage here to buy the properties."

Labour's ban will stop foreign buyers of existing homes, but they will still be able to purchase new builds and that's something that has had some support.

"While it's going to be useful and a better way to use investment into New Zealand than has been the case in the past, I am not sure that the numbers are going to be so great, that it's going to make any great impact on the market over the next few years," said the Property Institute's Ashley Church.

Mortgage broker John Bolton said the ban was a populist move.

"I don't think it's going to have an effect at all," he told Newshub.

"It's political. It kind of makes sense right, but the horse has already bolted."

Other places, like Vancouver,, have tried a 15 percent foreign buyer tax. Sales did drop sharply, but the number of foreign buyers has started to creep back up.

Australia has also implemented a foreign buyer ban.

"Sydney and Melbourne property markets are more crazy than here, and they have had a foreign buyer ban on existing property since 2015," Mr Bolton said.

But the Government said the ban is needed to stop the market heating up again.

"I think it's fundamentally important that the New Zealand housing market is a New Zealand market, not an international market," said Trade Minister David Parker.

Foreigners are out, but it's up to the Government to detail how it will be policed.