Government backtrack on foreign buyer ban a good move for development - Property Council

An expert from the Property Council says softening a ban on foreign buyers is going to get more houses and developments built.

Changes to the Bill mean foreigners can buy apartments, or in some case buildings off the plans, and keep them. Initially, they were going to have to sell them once they were built.

The move means foreign developers can build residential properties of 20 dwellings and rent them out, meaning there will now be the possibility for foreign landlords.

Property Council head of advocacy Matt Paterson told The AM Show the changes to the Bill mean more housing will be built.

"New Zealand needs more houses and with lower restrictions on development we're actually going to get more houses," he said.

Large scale apartment schemes have been having trouble getting off the ground over the past few years and Mr Paterson said this was because selling off the plan was proving difficult.

But with the new provisions in the Bill it will now be easier.

"It's true that some big housing developments and apartments mostly were struggling to be economically viable and part of that viability is getting presales for the bank to even lend them money to start construction," he said.

"There were news headlines over the past year about a number of those apartment buildings not going ahead, this was a real problem."

Mr Paterson was thankful for the Government's changes to the Bill and said it was due to realising during the select committee process that the previous provisions were too tight.

"This all happened really really quickly, it got tied up in the politics of a hundred days and the whole purpose of select committee is to test out these provisions and work out what the real life situation is," he said.

"Fortunately they didn't let politics get in the way, they listened to what [the] Property Council and all of our members who were presenting to select committee said."