Ban on foreign buyers passed into law
The new rules will apply to all overseas persons, with some exceptions. Specifically:
- New Zealand citizens, regardless of where they reside, will be able to buy homes in New Zealand;
- New Zealand permanent residents and other residence class visa holders who are “ordinarily resident in New Zealand” will be able to purchase homes in New Zealand without requiring consent;
- Australian and Singapore citizens and permanent residents will be treated in the same way as New Zealand citizens and permanent residents respectively.
- People who hold New Zealand residence class visas, but do not live in New Zealand, will be able to apply to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) for consent to purchase a home.
- Those who hold temporary visas, such as visitor, student, working holiday, or work visas, generally will not be able to buy a home in New Zealand. They will however be able to lease a home for up to five years.
The OIO will be responsible for administering the new rules relating to the purchase of residential land. This is consistent with its responsibilities in administering the Overseas Investment Act.
There will be new opportunities for overseas developers to apply to the OIO for consent to buy residential land to build apartments and hotels etc, but they will not be able to live in these developments.
Agreements to purchase land entered into before 22 October 2018 will not be subject to the new rules.
More about how overseas persons may apply to buy residential land in New Zealand will follow shortly.
The above information is of a general nature only. You should contact our firm for advice relating to your specific circumstances.
About Mark Bond
Mark is a member of our Property Team. He assists clients with various residential and commercial property transactions, including associated company and trust structuring.