Foreign property investors should only be allowed to build new houses, not buy existing homes and "push up the prices as a speculator", says Auckland mayoral candidate Phil Goff.
Speaking during a debate on current affairs programme The Hui this morning, Goff said he would support moves similar to Vancouver's 15 per cent tax on foreign property buyers.
The Canadian city began imposing the tax on overseas buyers in August and some commentators believe it is already having an impact on its booming property market.
"What I would do is push Government to stop foreign investment in existing houses," Goff said on the Hui this morning.
"Do what the Australians do - if you're a foreign investor and you want to invest in housing, build a new house, add something to our community, don't just push up the prices as a speculator," Goff said.
The average value of an Auckland property hit $1 million for the first time last month. The latest CoreLogic buyer classification data shows that about 46 per cent of sales during the third quarter of this year in Auckland were to investors, but it's still not clear how many of these sales were to foreigners.
Goff has already called for migration to Auckland to be reduced until the city's housing crisis and transport congestion could cope with population growth.
"Urgent and bold action is needed to stop the worsening housing crisis and restore the affordability and availability of housing," the Labour MP said at his campaign launch in August.
Goff, at that launch, said that Auckland was growing by a record 825 people a week, two thirds of whom are new migrants.
"Immigration is good for New Zealand - it brings skills and energy - but it needs to be at a rate transport and housing infrastructure can cope with."