Limited impact from foreign buyer ban - REINZ

Monday 11 December 2017

The upcoming foreign buyer ban on purchasing existing properties is expected to have a minimal impact on sales, according to new research from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

A recent REINZ survey of its members revealed that currently only a minority of buyers are from overseas (3.8%).

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell says that ahead of the government’s upcoming foreign buyer ban they were interested to understand exactly what percentage of sales were to international buyers.

“There is minimal data available. So, who better to ask than those who deal with this day in and day out – our members.

“Our survey indicates that only a small number of sales are made to buyers from offshore – the clear majority of sales are made to locals (63.9%) and those from other towns or cities from within New Zealand (29.8%).”

The survey also looked at the make- up of open home visitors and this showed that the majority of open home visitors were local (64.1%).

They were followed by 28% from out of town and only 4.5% from overseas, while the remaining 3.4% were classed as ‘other’.

Norwell says that, given international buyers are such a small part of the market they are interested to understand what impact the government believes the foreign buyer ban will actually have.

“We know when looking at Australia that a similar policy there has had little impact with Australia still remaining the third most unaffordable country in the world.”

The survey also looked at the make-up of buyers in the market overall.

It shows that currently most purchasers are owner occupiers (52.3%), followed by first time buyers (26.3%).

Investors amounted to just 14.2% of buyers, while the remaining 7.3% of buyers were classified as ‘other’.

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