queenstown new zealand housing market foreigners
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If you had any intentions of buying a home in New Zealand, you’ve only got a few months left to do so.

Effective early 2018, foreigners will be banned from buying houses in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Tuesday. The ban is meant to reduce demand in what the prime minister is calling a housing crisis.

“We are determined to make it easier for Kiwis to buy their first home so we are stopping foreign speculators buying houses and driving up prices,” Ardern said in a statement. “Kiwis should not be outbid like this.”

The ban will not apply to Australians or legal residents of New Zealand.

Over the past decade, housing prices have increased 50 percent across the nation. In Auckland, the country’s most populous city, prices have nearly doubled in that same period, according to Reuters. It is the fourth least affordable housing market in the world, after Hong Kong, Sydney, and Vancouver.

However, there is some debate on how foreigners are actually affecting the home market in New Zealand. Local reports differ and put the range of foreign-owned homes anywhere from two to 11 percent. But most agree that most foreign interest comes from China, followed by the United States.

There has been a big increase in Americans' interest in New Zealand in the past couple of years. And there are reports that indicate some of Silicon Valley’s wealthiest people are buying homes in New Zealand to prepare for “Doomsday” situations.