Sunday, 18 June 2006, 4:04 pm
Press Release: Green Party
“The visit of Singapore’s Prime Minister is a good opportunity for us to reassess our lax foreign ownership laws, which are driving up house prices,” Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman says.
“Non-residents buying land and houses in New Zealand is driving up house prices by pitting wealthy overseas buyers against Kiwis trying to get into the housing market,” Dr. Norman says.
The Closer Economic Partnership deal between New Zealand and Singapore includes a provision that restricts New Zealanders from owning land and landed property in Singapore (Annex 3.2). But there is no such restriction going the other way.
“If Singapore can do it, why can’t we?” Dr. Norman asks.
“Helen Clark should use her talks with Singapore’s Prime Minister to learn about their restrictions on non-residents owning land so we can do the same here.
“Given that housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable in New Zealand, driven in part by overseas investors, and that the Government’s Welcome Home Loans scheme has failed to make housing affordable, it’s time for the Government to look at other options.
“Reserving land ownership to citizens and permanent residents would help take some of the pressure off the overcooked housing market so that ordinary New Zealanders can afford to buy homes for their families”, says Dr. Norman.