New Zealand's Prime Minister-designate Jacinda Ardern speaks as she stands next to New Zealand Green Party leader James Shaw in Wellington, New Zealand, October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Nicolaci da Costa

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday a ban on foreigners buying existing homes would begin in early 2018, but the restrictions would not apply to Australians.
Ardern campaigned in the recent New Zealand election to restrict foreign buyers to reduce demand, while the country tackles what her Labour party says is a housing crisis left unresolved by the previous National administration.
“We are determined to make it easier for Kiwis to buy their first home so we are stopping foreign speculators buying houses and driving up prices. Kiwis should not be outbid like this,” said Ardern in an emailed statement, using the colloquial term for New Zealanders.
The politically sensitive housing crunch has seen prices rise more than 50 percent nationally in the last decade. In the city of Auckland, prices have almost doubled in that period. The central bank sees fast-rising prices as …
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