New Zealand’s new Labor Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has promised to improve the real estate market by banning foreigners from buying existing homes.  Australians would be exempt from the proposed ban.

The AFP reports:

The New Zealand government firmed up plans Tuesday to prevent foreigners from buying houses in the country, saying it wanted the new law in place early next year.

New Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she aimed to have the ban take effect before the wide-ranging Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement is ratified in February.

The government believes that blocking foreign homebuyers and cutting back on immigration numbers will help reduce demand and drive down prices in a heated housing market.

Ardern, who was only sworn in as prime minister last week, said Australians would be exempt.

. . . .  The ban would apply to existing dwellings and non-residents would still be able to buy land to build a house on.

“Our position has always been that if you’re adding to supply, for on-sale of that new dwelling, then you will be able to build,” Ardern said.