Foreign buyer ban not the way to keep prices down - property expert

  • 13/08/2018

The Government's foreign buyers ban is expected to be passed into law this week, but should it be reconsidering the ban with signs the economy is turning?

Overseas buying in New Zealand has become somewhat of a code word in the United States for wealthy people looking to escape their fears of terrorism and civil unrest.

But now that house prices are dipping, is banning foreign buyers the right thing to do?

Property Institute chief executive Ashley Church says foreign buyers are only a small portion of the market, and banning them may not be the best way to keep house prices down.

He says the simplest way to fix New Zealand's housing crisis is to bring the prices down.

"The simplest way of bring prices down - and you can use Christchurch as a template for this - is to build as many houses as you can, as quickly as possible."

A lot of people that may look like overseas buyers are actually Kiwis, Mr Church says, and economic nationalism could be to blame.

It's the idea that there is always someone or something that is responsible for societal problems - and in New Zealand, it's foreign buyers.

Watch the full interview with The Project team above.