New housing data welcomed

The Asia New Zealand Foundation welcomes the release of property data that gives a clearer picture of the extent of overseas investment in New Zealand real estate.

Asia New Zealand Foundation executive director Simon Draper discusses recently released data on non-residents purchasing property in New Zealand.

The report from Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) shows that buyers with an overseas tax residency accounted for only 3% of property transfers between January and March 2016 ­– and only about one-third of those non-resident buyers were in Asia.

Asia New Zealand Foundation executive director Simon Draper says: “The Asia New Zealand Foundation knows from its Perceptions of Asia 2015 research that media coverage last year contributed to an increased number of New Zealanders believing that buyers from Asia were responsible for rising house prices. This data suggests that such fears are not based on fact.

“The Foundation believes that this data will help New Zealand have mature discussions about overseas investment, including from Asia. The way we talk about these things has implications for the growing number of New Zealanders of Asian descent, and also for New Zealand’s broader relationships with other countries.

“Overseas investment in New Zealand doesn’t begin and end with housing. New Zealand has a wide range of overseas investment in the agriculture and food processing, infrastructure, residential and manufacturing sectors, among many others.”

The Foundation also spoke to economist Shamubeel Eaqub for his perspective on the issue.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation with a range of programmes designed to equip New Zealanders with first-hand experience of Asia and to forge valuable links to the region. Founded in 1994, the Foundation works in five main areas - business, arts and culture, education, media and research. It also runs a Leadership Network and takes a lead role in track II (informal diplomacy) bilateral and multilateral dialogues in the Asia-Pacific region.