Labour promises foreign buyer ban by Xmas, Nats an extra $10K for Homestart
The major parties both released housing affordability measures today, albeit attacking the problem from different angles — though with the common theme of being more driven by politics than economic theory.
Jacinda Ardern promised to ban the purchase of existing homes by offshore buyers if elected.
The Labour leader said her party would pass an urgent law change by Christmas to put the policy into effect.
The latest figures from Linz show that only 3% of property purchases involved a non-NZ resident buyer in what is a flat-to-declining market.
Regardless, the policy could dog-whistle appeal.
Nats' HomeStart top-up
During a visit to the Hobsonville Point development, National leader Bill English promised to increase the HomeStart grant by $10,000 if re-elected.
That would mean first-home buyers could get $20,000 to buy an existing house and $30,000 for a new build.
The policy would mean 80,000 people getting funding to help buy a house in the next four years, Mr English said.
A HomeStart grant allows a first-home buyer to divert KiwiSaver funds toward purchasing their first house, with top-funding from the Crown.
The policy is for individuals, but couples earning up to $130,000 a year could claim the grant and put it together for a deposit.