Real estate boss supports the call for a foreign buyers’ register
The call for a foreign buyers’ register is supported by Geoff Barnett, National Manager of Century 21 New Zealand.
“A foreign buyers’ register makes good sense as such information would no doubt help, not hinder, the Government in its
management of the country. It would also help the real estate industry in better understanding the market and how best
to respond,” he says.
Mr Barnett’s comments follow the Government rejecting a foreign buyers’ register but a law change due to come into
effect in October will provide more information.
He says Labour’s claims of excessive speculation by offshore Chinese investors in the Auckland housing market are not
“I don’t believe the reported quantum is quite right but nonetheless the issue has confirmed many people’s long held
suspicions. However let’s not forget New Zealand needs overseas investment to help drive our economy and so there is
absolutely nothing to fear.”
While Mr Barnett believes foreign investment in the housing sector is overall good for New Zealand, he says perhaps it
should only be in the area of new residential construction and the Government should consider changing the law to
“If overseas investors had to build new houses rather than buying into the existing housing stock, it would help the
levels of housing stock, while helping the economy with more jobs and the flow on effects that creates. It’s their
buying of our existing stock that is creating the concerns around ongoing shortages, so enforcing a rule around them
having to build new will help everyone. They get to invest and our housing stock increases which is the real issue we
should be addressing.”
Mr Barnett supports the Government and IRD changes from October which tighten up on speculators. He notes over the
long-term properties always increase in value and investors should be taxed on those increases.
“I support Inland Revenue’s new rules that will ensure all buyers must have an IRD number and those in the business of
buying and selling houses should be taxed on the profits they make from that business. That makes good sense but we can
still do more.”
International real estate agency business Century 21 has 20 offices in New Zealand, over 250 offices in Australasia and
over 7,500 offices in 80 countries worldwide. Its global website www.century21global.com
has listings from all over the world that can instantly translated into 16 languages.