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Afew weeks ago in Auckland, while getting into a cab, a colleague and I were having an animated discussion about the merits of a capital gains tax. Before greeting us, the driver chimed in with his dislike for any tax on profits from the sale of property. An interesting start to the ride. A few questions later and the cabbie revealed that he owned four properties in addition to his family home. Welcome to New Zealand.
Or should I say, welcome to the world?
Globally, residential property remains one of the hottest commodities, with assets valued at $162 trillion, a dizzying amount that is almost three times the value of every single country’s GDP combined. While individual investors want a piece of the pie, it’s largely being driven by multinational institutional investors with unprecedented amounts of capital: private equity, pension funds and asset management firms. It’s called the financialisation of housing, and it’s coming to a neighbourhood near you.