There’s a lot we can learn from our friends in New Zealand
The UK has a lot in common with New Zealand despite the 11,000 miles distance between them.
We both enjoy landscapes of green rolling hills, we share the same Monarch with similar political institutions and both countries have a passion for beer and skill at rugby.
But we have something else in common too – we are both facing a housing crisis.
Since the 1980s, various factors including deregulation, immigration and politics have contributed to rising house prices, with considerable debate over how to address the issue due to its large size relative to the economy.
According to an article in The Guardian Only a quarter of adults in New Zealand own their own home, compared with half in 1991.
In 2017, the Demographia think-tank ranked Auckland’s housing market the fourth-most unaffordable in the world — behind Hong Kong, Sydney and Vancouver — with median
house prices rising from 6.4 times the median income in 2008 to 10 times in 2017.
What’s the difference between their housing crisis and ours?
The New Zealand Liberal-led Government have taken a considerable and bold step towards to rectifying theirs. They have implemented a ban on the sale of existing homes to foreign
buyers excluding buyers from Australia and Singapore. New Zealanders were tired of being outbid on their own suburban homes by wealthy people from America, China and Asia. In a speech to parliament on Wednesday Associate minister of finance David Parker said:
We should not be tenants in our own land.
This might seem like a move that’s drastic enough to collapse their property market entirely, but they’ve got that covered too. Foreigners are still able to purchase apartments off plan in
new developments and the hope is that it will encourage construction companies to build smaller and more affordable properties.
One Twitter user commented:
This is a good policy. The ban of homes to foreign buyers is step in making housing more
affordable. No one should have to be homeless when there is enough housing for everyone
but billionaires buy it out for personal profit.
Others Twitter users are calling for the same in their countries with Canada, Cape Town and of course the UK topping the list of ‘requests’
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