China has started the New Year by clamping down on the amount of money flowing out of the country which provides a glimmer of hope for New Zealanders wanting to get into the housing market.
An estimated $762 billion poured out of China in the first 11 months of 2016 and a lot of it was spent on buying residential property in Canada, Australia, the United States and New Zealand.
The Chinese Government is now demanding their people pledge money being taken out of China will not be used for overseas purchases of property.
It is a plain fact – in spite of what the National government says – that Chinese buyers have made a major impact on the New Zealand property market, especially in Auckland.
What can you expect when New Zealand property is so actively marketed in China?
Last year real estate company Ray White linked up with China’s largest real estate agency Lianjia, also known as Homelink, to market New Zealand houses and land.
Other companies have been similarly active.
The impact of such aggressive marketing is obvious – house prices have skyrocketed in Auckland and the flow-on effect has spread to Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and other cities around the country.
Last year the government tried to give the impression they were dealing with the issue when requiring non-residents buying or selling property in New Zealand to have an IRD number and a New Zealand bank account.
That was only window-dressing and hasn’t held back foreign buyers. They can still tap into friends, family or others who have permanent residency here to get what they want.
The only party really taking foreign ownership seriously is New Zealand First. We have a bill which would require all foreign owners of New Zealand land and housing to be registered.
If the government was up front and honest about foreign ownership in New Zealand they would support it.
But they won’t. New Zealand voters can make up their own minds about that.