The proposed anti-foreign house-buyer ban here has gone much further than Australia, prohibiting non-residents from not only buying an existing house but also building a house or buying a property off the plans without consent, a top lawyer says.

Even if consent was granted, foreigners would need to sell property here within a year said Auckland District Law Society president Joanna Pidgeon

This will apply to all overseas people with skilled worker visas living in New Zealand, she said and would mean New Zealand’s proposed law would be much harsher than Australia’s.

The Overseas Investment Amendment Bill, which had its first reading in the House just before Christmas, would ban foreigners from buying New Zealand houses or apartments even if they build them, she said, “because the requirement to divest the property within 12 months of completion would make the purchase and construction too risky with possible market fluctuations.”

One of the aims of the legislation is to “build a more productive economy, by helping redirect capital to productive uses”, the bill states.

But Pidgeon said prohibiting overseas purchasers from buying off the plan or building houses unless they divest the property within 12 months would not see this redirection of capital.

Guidelines from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board show the country views foreigner non-residents more favourably. If they develop new houses or apartments, non-Australian residents can own them and keep them. That country sees new stock as of benefit.

Read the original sourced article from NZ Herald

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