Around 82 per cent of houses in the country are being bought by New Zealand residents or citizens, Land Information NZ says.

Another 16 per cent of sales are to businesses or corporate entities, almost all of which were wholly owned by Kiwis.

The Government department released the latest data on sales to foreign tax residents today.

For the first time, it included information about buyers and sellers' residency and citizenship status.

Until now, the statistics have been based solely on tax residency, and have consistently shown that around 3 per cent of houses were sold to offshore tax residents.

LINZ said that in the latest quarter, it was able to determine whether a buyer was a NZ resident or citizen in 87 per cent of 41,919 house sales.

It said 82 per cent of house transfers involved one or more buyers with NZ citizenship or residency. It was not known what portion of these houses was owned by local or offshore buyers.

Around 2 per cent of transfers involved no buyer with NZ citizenship or residency, though some of them had student or work visas.

And 16 per cent of transfers involved businesses or corporate entities.

"For almost all of these corporate/business entities all parties were New Zealand tax residents," LINZ said.

Of the houses sold to offshore tax residents, Chinese and Australians made up the biggest share of purchases.

National has ruled out restricting house sales to non-residents, while Labour wants to ban sales to people living offshore.

- NZ Herald

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