Foreign Ownership of Property

There are some types of property that are not allowed to be bought by non New Zealand citizens or permanent residents without government permission. The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) is in charge of going through applications for consent for foreigners to make property investments in New Zealand.
Those who can buy property without filing in an application are:

  • New Zealand citizens
  • New Zealand permanent residents
  • Australian citizens
  • Singaporean citizens

Everyone who doesn’t fall into one of those categories will have restrictions when buying and will most likely require consent from the Overseas Investment Office.


What do you need in order to buy?

IRD Number
One of the things you will need to buy a property or land in New Zealand is a New Zealand IRD number. IRD number is a unique number issued by Inland Revenue to customers, both individuals and non-individuals. You are able to apply for one of these through the government. To do this you will need to first open a New Zealand bank account. Offshore parties also need to provide their tax number/details from their country of origin.

Proof of identity
From January 1st, 2019, anyone selling a property is required to provide proof of their identity under the New Zealand Government’s Anti-Money Laundering laws. In some cases, buyers may also be asked to identify themselves in a way that satisfies AML requirements.

You should have a minimum of 30% of the purchase price as a deposit. If you have less, you are unlikely to be able to purchase it.

If you are going to be borrowing money from a bank, then you will need a PAYE form from a permanent job. You can not get one if you are just self-employed or a contractor.

Accessing finance for a property in New Zealand
Banks are typically difficult to deal with when foreign based income is involved. They will only accept PAYE income, as mentioned above, from a reputable employer in reputable countries. Again, as mentioned above, if you are self-employed or a contractor it will be very hard to get a bank to agree to lend you money.
In order to arrange finance, foreign buyers who aren’t New Zealand citizens will need to get funding through non-bank lenders. These mortgage rates are typically around 5.5% to 7.5%.

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