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Overseas home buyers' share edges down in New Zealand
Last Updated: 2019-02-09 10:22 | Xinhua
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About 2.3 percent of home transfers were to people who did not hold New Zealand citizenship or a resident visa in the December 2018 quarter, which saw little change, the statistics department Stats NZ said on Friday.

This compares with 2.9 percent in the December 2017 quarter, and 2 percent in the September 2018 quarter, Stats NZ said.

The figure responds to accusations saying overseas buyers, especially Chinese buyers, bought a greater share of New Zealand houses, which led to home price jump in Auckland and other major cities in recent years.

"This quarter's share of overseas home buyers is comparable to recent results, when transfers may have been influenced by discussions about Overseas Investment Act changes," property statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said in a statement.

The Overseas Investment Amendment Act 2018 prevents most people who do not hold New Zealand citizenship or a resident visa from buying residential property in New Zealand.

There are exemptions for Australian and Singaporean citizens, for those that buy new apartments in large developments, and for those that add to New Zealand's housing supply by building new homes, according to the act.

The latest quarter's results may not fully reflect the impact of law changes that took effect on Oct, 22, 2018, as transfers are not counted until the contract is completed, which could take a month or longer, McKenzie said.

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