I’m not quite sure what to think of this situation:
New Zealand is set to ban foreigners buying homes after a spate of millionaires creating luxury doomsday bunkers has apparently pushed property prices up for local buyers.
It comes after purchases by PayPal founder Peter Thiel and disgraced former NBC host Matt Lauer, who lost his job after allegations of sexual misconduct.
The country’s centre-left government, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has blamed the wealthy expats for their major housing crisis with homelessness rates being among the highest in the developed world.
Yet David Parker, Minister for Trade and Economic Development, said the bill, for which he is responsible, isn’t only about house prices.
‘In this world of concentrating wealth, we don’t want this coterie of ultra-wealthy people overseas being able to outbid successful New Zealanders for what is our birthright, not theirs,’ he said.
From a free market perspective, it’s not right; but on the other hand, seeing how Californians have done pretty much the same thing Over Here when fleeing their home state for other, less burdensome ones, I can sort of see the Kiwis’ point. It’s also happened in Britishland, where wealthy Londoners have bought themselves country pieds-à-terre and have driven up real estate prices beyond the reach of the locals.
Here in north Texas, we’re facing a similar situation with regard to both Californians and Yankees moving into the area — real estate prices are constantly increasing — but there’s so much land around here for expansion that we haven’t yet reached that stage of feeling “trapped”, so to speak, by soaring prices. That’s not the case in tiny Britain and New Zealand, of course and as I said, I can sympathize with the KiwiGov for wanting to at least arrest the phenomenon somewhat.
That said, New Zealand is prone to having some humdinger earthquakes from time to time, so the rich farts’ “doomsday bunkers” may ironically not be quite the secure bolt-holes their owners believe them to be.