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Housing Stock Ownership Concentration 1986-2018: A Brief Comment on Trends, Transformation and Implications

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On 25 February 2021, the New Zealand Finance Minister instructed the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to consider the Government's objective of achieving sustainable housing prices by reducing investor demand, aiming to enhance affordability for first-home buyers.

This move acknowledges the significant role of investors in shaping housing demand and prices. Data from 1986 to 2018 reveals the growing influence of property investors in the housing market. Over time, New Zealand’s housing landscape has shifted from being dominated by households to being increasingly influenced by investors. This transformation has largely been driven by factors such as governmental subsidies to the private rental market, the aftermath of the 1987 financial crash, and banking deregulation. The rising concentration of housing stock in investors’ hands has both contributed to and been bolstered by increasing house prices.

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