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Chris Bryant

Can't Afford a House? Blame the Apocalypse

New Zealand’s ban on foreign property buyers is crude, but it’s hard not to feel some sympathy.

Overseas money is feeding property bubbles everywhere, not just New Zealand.

Overseas money is feeding property bubbles everywhere, not just New Zealand.

Photographer: Donald Iain Smith/Photodisc

If one day you’re banned from buying your dream second home (or third, or tenth, or whatever) in the country of your choice, you’ll know whom to blame: tech tycoon Peter Thiel.

Fears about a property bubble in New Zealand reached a denouement last week with a law banning nonresident foreigners from buying a home. The trend for billionaires like Thiel to discreetly snap up prime real estate in the country — some in preparation for the coming apocalypse — certainly didn’t enamor local people and politicians to overseas buyers.