New charge could hit New Zealand homeowners

Property developers in Auckland, New Zealand, have expressed fears that house prices will increase if the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) succeeds in persuading the government to allow it to charge a fee for transport and other services.

The new levy would be on top of the local council charges that are currently paid by those planning new housing development in Auckland.

The property council chair, Connal Townsend, said that if successful, the cost of the legislation is likely to be passed onto homebuyers and property investors in the form of higher house prices.

Mr Townsend said that the result could be urban sprawl, with young families and those on lower incomes forced out of the city centre in search of more affordable homes.

Overseas investors interested in New Zealand homes for sale may also be affected by the new rule.

However, the ARC maintains it is reasonable to expect property owners to pay for the extra public transport infrastructure needed as a direct result of their homes being built in the first place.

Meanwhile, the recent auction of a dairy unit property for NZ$2.335 million in the Bay of Plenty also confirmed the strength of the rural New Zealand property market. The land in Galatea included a house, a cowshed and a haybarn

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