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NZ Property Expo in Singapore: Peters

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/08/2016

© AAP Image/Xavier La Canna NZ First leader Winston Peters is using an advert in a Singapore newspaper to ridicule official figures on the number of foreigners buying property in New Zealand.

A LINZ survey released on Monday showed foreign tax residents brought just three per cent of all properties sold between April and June this year.

The figures were similar to the previous quarter.

Mr Peters has discovered a full page advert in Saturday's Singapore Straits Times for a two-day Prime New Zealand Properties Expo in the city.

"If foreign ownership is as small as the government claims it to be, then why would an outfit like Brooke International book a room at the Singapore Hilton and spend $20,000 on an advert for a New Zealand properties expo?" he asked.

"And what are the benefits of buying in New Zealand, according to the advert? They are: `No stamp duty', `No restrictions on resale to foreigners' and `A lucrative investment with income up to 30 years in fantastic Auckland or Queenstown'."

Mr Peters, who is distributing copies of the advert to the media, says it shows how New Zealand is really seen by the rest of the world - an easy place to buy that offers great returns.

"The government must crack down hard on foreign buyers and establish a real register of foreign buyers, not this Clayton's thing they've cobbled together," he said.

Labour also rejects the figures and is claiming government ministers deliberately constructed the survey to muddy the waters and confuse the public about the impact foreign buyers are having on the housing market.

Tax residency isn't the same as nationality, and Labour's Phil Twyford says the survey could simply have asked buyers whether they were New Zealand citizens or residents.

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