January, 2018Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult has this month led a
submission on behalf of Queenstown Lakes District Council addressing
Governments proposed Overseas Investment Amendment Bill.
The council has long championed housing affordability within the
district, and developed a number of innovative programmes to address
this issue. It goes without saying that we definitely support the intent
behind this bill.
However the bills fundamental position is that the affordability issue
is driven by overseas investors. We contend this belief is misplaced and
were asking Central Government to take more time for further
research and analysis, said Mayor Boult.
In its submission, the council has outlined why this bill, which primarily
targets overseas property investors, matters to the council and
ratepayers. It also provides a comprehensive list of recommendations.
We have the fastest growing population in New Zealand with a
significant proportion of that growth coming from international
migrants. The districts economy relies heavily on employees coming
from overseas. Many of these are experienced professionals with
families who need the opportunity to invest in a home otherwise
attracting the skills we desperately lack in the district will be
impossible, said Mayor Boult.
The councils submission reflects that little evidence exists to support
the claim overseas buyers are having an effect on house prices, as
between July and September last year, only 3.25percent of all property
sales nationally were to overseas buyers, dropping to 2.25percent if
Australians were excluded from these statistics.
The council contends that the high number of second homes in the
district (typically owned by Aucklanders and Australians) could be
contributing more significantly to the increase in house prices than
overseas buyers. Mayor Boult believed the bill did not address the
significant role these second home buyers play in the affordability
problems faced by local residents and further research is required into
this and other possible contributory factors.
Weve learnt from our own Housing Affordability Taskforce that there
is no easy, single answer to this complex issue. We dont really
understand the impact this bill will have on the housing market, our
wider economy and international reputation if it is passed in its current
format, said Mayor Boult.
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