Thursday, June 21, 2018
New Zealand Shuns World's Wealthy Seeking Havens From Disaster-what do they know that we dont!
(Woravit Vijitpanya | Dreamstime.com)
Friday, 02 March 2018 08:55 AM
New Zealand reportedly is poised to approve a national law restricting foreigners from buying homes which also threatens to halt the region’s luxury economy boom and stop the influx of overseas billionaires who seek doomsday bunkers.
With nuclear tensions on the rise, “New Zealand’s political stability, low population density, pristine country and distance from major powers provides a potential refuge to those for whom money is no object,” Fox Business Network recently explained.
Years of overseas investment has driven up housing prices on the island. New Zealand’s national median average home price rose 5.8% to $405,000 in 2017, the BBC has reported. Those rising prices are the primary driver behind the push by New Zealand’s Labour Party government to ban foreigners from buying homes in the country, Fox explained.
“This law would dry up the secondary housing market,” the Financial Times cited Peter Campbell, founder of Triple Star, the construction company that built Twin Peaks View, which is being marketed to the global rich, who have flocked to New Zealand’s Queenstown in search of spectacular scenery and a bolt-hole in case of global catastrophe, as saying.
“This won’t just affect builders and real estate agents, this will hit the entire local economy — housekeepers, landscapers, insurance brokers, car concierge services and boutique wine shops,” Campbell said.
Triple Star is among dozens of companies and local officials urging the government of Jacinda Ardern to backtrack and allow rich foreigners to continue buying luxury housing to support the economy, the FT said.
At recent parliamentary hearings, critics, including many local multimillionaires, argued that the proposed law was: “xenophobic”; would damage New Zealand’s global reputation for openness; and would not solve the housing problem, the FT said.
The influx of wealthy foreigners, who include technology guru Peter Thiel, disgraced US news anchor Matt Lauer and hedge fund pioneer Julian Robertson, has generated an economic boom for builders, real estate agents and luxury goods sellers.
Michael Nock, a Hong Kong-based financier who hired a helicopter to find his own Queenstown bolt-hole after the global financial crisis, invites local and international artists to use a studio at his property.
“Wealthy buyers are positive for the economy,” he says. “I’m not sure the current thinking to ban foreign buyers is all that sensible. The Chinese money and US billionaires are buying houses that the average Kiwis wouldn’t.”
New Zealand’s trade minister David Parker told VOA News that the restrictions are not just about price, but fairness.“I am not targeting any one individual. I'm trying to protect New Zealanders against some of the excesses of global capitalism.”