Queenstown
Image: © Christopher Michel via Wikimedia Commons

No more hiding in New Zealand for foreign billionaires

PM Jacinda Ardern has banned foreigners from buying homes in an attempt to push down house prices

The New Zealand government is banning foreigners from buying homes. But people aren't sure it'll have that big an effect.

What it means: House prices in New Zealand have doubled in the last decade, with soaring rents and not enough properties on the market. PM Jacinda Ardern said she'd tackle this problem, and has made her first move banning foreigners from buying houses.

The thing is, just 3% of homes in NZ are owned by foreigners. They tend to be beautiful beachfront properties bought by billionaires – a few theories as to why are that it's a good 'bolt-hole' to hide in for when the revolution against inequality comes, or indeed the inevitable apocalypse (seriously).

People who oppose the ban say we don't know how much these buys actually affect house prices around the country. Plus, some foreign investment goes towards building new houses, which in a place with a shortage of property, isn't such a bad thing.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?