New Zealand is to introduce a ban on non-citizens buying existing homes in the country.
The country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the plan would make home ownership accessible for New Zealanders - amid a housing bubble that has seen prices rocket in recent times.
Prices have risen by more than 50% nationally over the past ten years – with costs in the bustling city of Auckland almost doubling during the same period.
Research indicates that the country also has some of the highest rates of homelessness in the developed world.
Ms Ardern’s Labour Party has said the situation amounts to a housing crisis that the previous administration failed to fix.
Announcing the plan, she said her government had “found and agreed a solution to make housing and home ownership more accessible for New Zealanders.”
She said legislation governing overseas investment into the country will be amended to classify residential housing as “sensitive” and introduce a new test for residency.
“The effect of this will be that non residents or non citizens cannot purchase existing residential dwellings in New Zealand - with the exception of Australian Citizens,” she said.
She said the legislation will be in place before Christmas and once passed, will take effect early next year.
Australian citizens have been made exempt to the restrictions due to the home ownership rights enjoyed by citizens of both countries in either jurisdiction.