Foreigners’ impact on house prices nothing compared to passport trade
In New Zealand, we worry about citizens of other countries buying up property here, lifting prices way beyond the former reality, distorting the market, pushing homes out of the reach of first-homebuyers.
In other parts of the world, the new reality is constant war which cannot be escaped, where victims may never have chosen a side.
Many of us have taken exception to the “citizenship at large” status the NZ Government granted in 2011 to PayPal co-founder & onetime Facebook investor Peter Thiel, a status which doesn’t require the German-born billionaire, US & now NZ citizen to live here, although he stated his intention to become a player in New Zealand’s venture capital sector.
But he’s not alone, internationally, in holding that “at large” status, which is yet another twist to cross-border property investment.
Writer & artist James Bridle, based in Athens, wrote in an article for The Atlantic last week how passports can be bought & sold, their ties to property investment, and some of the pitfalls.
The Atlantic, 21 February 2018: The rise of virtual citizenship
Fighting the rising tide
How do you fight the rising tides, the increasing number of hurricanes, the swamp that envelopes your home?
Along the Louisiana coast of the southern US, that question has been asked for decades. And over those decades the tide has won.
Hurricane Katrina’s swamping of the coastline in 2005 was followed by 3 more big hurricanes over the next 3 years. Places disappeared underwater, but there are other causes too, some related to the oil & gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico. According to this report, “State planners believe another 2000 square miles (5180km²), or even double that, could be overtaken in 50 years as the land sinks, canals widen and sea levels rise because of climate change.” That’s slightly more than the 4900km² of the Auckland region, from Te Hana north of Wellsford down to Pukekohe.
It’s happening there, and concerns about coastal breaches are growing here.
What this story is about is the fight by a small community, Jean Lafitte, to overcome state authorities’ conclusions every time the mayor thinks he has a solution, that the solution will be inadequate because the problem has grown, and the cost has grown even more prohibitive.
The Times-Picayune & The New York Times, 24 February 2018: Our drowning coast: Left to Louisiana’s tides, Jean Lafitte fights for time
Attribution: The Atlantic, Times Picayune, New York Times