Advice For Overseas Investors Looking to Buy a Home in New Zealand

March 2020

Reading Time: 3 Minutes  

Am I Eligible to Buy a Home in New Zealand?

While the rules for overseas people buying residential property in New Zealand have changed, certain people from overseas can apply for consent to buy one New Zealand home to live in.

What are the rules around consent, who is eligible and what are the restrictions? Read on for our top tips for overseas people looking to buy a house to live in in New Zealand.

Who is Eligible to Buy a Residential Property in New Zealand?

New Zealand citizens, couples where one of the spouses is a New Zealand citizen or ‘ordinarily resident’ and Australian/Singaporean citizens can purchase residential land without consent. New Zealand citizens are always eligible to buy, whether they are living in New Zealand or not.

My Partner is a New Zealand Resident, Do I Need Consent to Buy?

As above, couples where one of the partners is a New Zealand citizen or ‘ordinarily resident’ can purchase residential land without consent, so you won’t need consent if you are buying the home as a relationship property. This includes people who are married, in a civil union or in a de facto relationship. If you have bought as a couple, but later separate or divorce, both parties are still entitled to keep their share of the property, even if they are overseas people.

Who Else Doesn’t Need Consent?

New Zealand Resident Class visa holders and Australian/Singaporean Permanent Resident visa holders who are tax residents and have resided in New Zealand for the immediately preceding 12 months, having lived in New Zealand for 183 days of those 12 months, may apply to purchase land without consent. These people are classed as being ‘ordinarily resident’.

What If I Haven’t Lived in New Zealand For a Full Year?

If you are a New Zealand resident or have a Permanent Resident visa but have not lived in New Zealand for a full year, you can apply to the Overseas Investment Office for consent to buy. This consent will allow you to purchase a home before completing a full year of living in the country.

Who is Not Eligible to Apply For Consent?

People who have a New Zealand Work visa, a New Zealand Student visa, a New Zealand Work to Residence visa, a New Zealand Working Holiday visa or a New Zealand Visitor visa are unable to purchase residential property in New Zealand.

When Should You Apply For Consent?

It is a good idea to get pre-approval from the Overseas Investment Office before you find a home to purchase, but you can still sign a sale and purchase agreement without consent as long as the agreement is conditional upon consent being approved. It’s worth remembering consent can take up to 10 days to be approved.

How Expensive is it to Apply For Consent?

The cost of an application for one property is $2,040. This meets the cost of processing the consent application and the monitoring of consent conditions. 

How Long Does Approval Last?

Once consent is granted the consent will last for 12 months and is valid for one successful transaction to buy a home to live in.


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