Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Chinese are buying our houses; oh, wait...

Another of Winston Peters' dreadful anti-Chinese memes has been exposed as false; the Herald reports:

Australians are contributing to New Zealand's skyrocketing house prices, with new research showing they bought more property than any other overseas group.
The figures have prompted calls to ban purchases by foreigners or impose a tax on top of the sale price.
BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander has found Australians are the biggest single group of overseas buyers with 22 per cent of all property purchases by foreigners. Chinese are second at 20 per cent and British at 13 per cent.
The BNZ-REINZ survey asked real estate agents to identify the proportions of their sales to various groups. It found 8 per cent to 9 per cent of sales were to foreigners.
While there are no exact figures showing the number of house purchases by foreigners, Real Estate Institute figures last month showed 7714 residential properties were sold. If that trend continued and around 90,000 houses were sold annually, about 8000 New Zealand houses could be going to foreigners.

Peters has never been one to let facts get in the way of a good bit of xenophobia, but by and large he gets away with it because the media doesn't challenge him. Campbell Live changed that trend a little last week, although we suspect that their agenda might be somewhat different and self-serving.

But on the basis of the figures from the BNZ-REINZ study, Chinese would only be responsible for around 1600 house purchases per annum (20% of 8000). That hardly fits in with the rhetoric from Peters in his recent Sin City speech, as reported at the time by Stuff (with our emphasis added):

He cited a free trade deal that works when it suits China, massive investment in local farms, forests and factories, fast-track schemes for students and rich Chinese tourists, and huge investment in the housing market.  

The numbers do not lie. Peters' hyperbole about land sales has already been exposed as false, and now a similar fate underlies his rhetoric on house sales. It is refreshing though that finally, the media has seen through Peters' xenophobia, and is challenging the unsubstantiated nonsense that he spouts.

1 comment:

bsprout said...

In no way do I defend Winston's stance but those 1,600 properties that are bought annually would be worth over $11 billion dollars (if properties average around $800,000 each). We desperately need a capital gains tax so that more money is directed into productive industries rather than forcing up our house prices beyond the reach of ordinary New Zealanders.