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New Zealand Passes Ban On Foreign Homebuyers

New Zealand homeownership rates have been declining, and the government hopes shutting out foreign buyers will help.
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New Zealand Passes Ban On Foreign Homebuyers

Buying a home in New Zealand just got a lot harder for foreigners. The country's Parliament passed a bill banning overseas investors from buying existing properties Wednesday.

The move comes after years of declining homeownership rates, which some officials have blamed on overseas investors driving up prices.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the issue a part of her campaign, and the ban is part of a broader effort to address New Zealand's housing shortage.

Opponents of the ban say it won't have much of an impact. They argue the number of foreign homebuyers is already small and declining.

Overseas investors bought about 3 percent of homes sold in the last quarter, according to government statistics.

The country has become a popular destination for wealthy foreigners, including recognizable figures like James CameronMatt Lauer and Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel