New Zealand has announced a ban on foreigners buying houses. It said the ban would begin in early 2018. The measure is to tackle the country's housing crisis. For the past decades, overseas buyers have been buying houses as investments or for holiday homes. This has increased demand for homes, which has seen house prices rise. Prices have risen by more than 50 per cent in the last decade. New Zealanders are angry about the inflated prices they have to pay to buy a home. Many citizens have simply been priced out of the market and cannot afford to get on the housing ladder.
The government is determined to end overseas investment increasing house prices. It wants to make it easier for Kiwis to buy their first home. It said: "We are stopping foreign speculators buying houses and driving up prices. Kiwis should not be outbid like this." Overseas investors will still be able to buy land. The government said the changes would not stop non-citizens from buying residential land. It stated: "Our position has always been that if you're adding to supply…then you will be able to build." It hopes the ban will "take some of the heat" out of the property market.