Who can buy a property in New Zealand?

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Over the years Fletcher Living has helped hundreds of people find their dream home. Whether you are new to New Zealand or a returning Kiwi we understand that buying a home can seem daunting, but we’re here to help you through every stage of the buying process.

In this blog, you’ll learn more about the eligibility criteria for buying a home in New Zealand.

A great place to live 

New Zealand has always been a great place to live, work and raise a family.  This has never been truer than during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, overseas kiwi families are keen to relocate back to our beautiful, safe shores and with few kiwis leaving, the housing market has become a little more cluttered.

International citizens have, for some time, seen New Zealand as a desirable property investment opportunity. However, in 2018 the Government made changes to our overseas investment laws, to try and curb an overheated property market, with restrictions aimed at foreign buyers and investors.


So what are the rules?

 There are no restrictions if:

  • You are a New Zealand Citizen
  • Or have been a permanent resident for at least a year, have been in New Zealand for at least 183 days of the year and you’re a NZ tax resident.
  • You’re an Australian Citizen
  • You’re a Singaporean Citizen

If you’re slightly puzzled by the favour towards Australian and Singaporean Citizens, this is because New Zealand has a Closer Economic Agreement with both countries and restricting property purchases would break that agreement.

If you’re from the UK, the US or anywhere else, then restrictions apply.  However, if you have recently obtained NZ residency, then you can apply to the Overseas Investment Office for permission to buy. There will be conditions, for example, demonstrating your commitment to live in New Zealand.

The Overseas Investment Office and New Zealand Immigration have some useful guides and resources to help you work through this process. Check out this link on ‘Buying or building a house in New Zealand’ here.



What about partners?

If your husband, wife or spouse is a NZ, Singaporean or Australian citizen, then you’re clear to buy a property without restrictions. The law doesn’t demand both partners be eligible. As long as one of you is eligible, no consent is required.

See the all the different scenarios here


What other rules are there?

Keeping the taxman happy is always a good thing. If you are buying land or property, you will need to supply a New Zealand IRD number before settlement can place.  This applies to all property purchases in New Zealand and your lawyer will ask you to sign a tax statement and provide your IRD number.

If you’re an overseas buyer, then you will need to open a New Zealand bank account first and then apply for an IRD number.  You will also need to supply tax details from your home country.


  • Anti-Money Laundering
    • The New Zealand Government’s Anti-Money laundering laws require sellers and buyers to declare their identity and source of income. 
  • Making a Statement
    • Everyone buying a property must complete a Residential Land Statement confirming their eligibility to purchase a property. Your lawyer will guide you through this and will make the purchase conditional, if you need to gain Overseas Investment consent.  Don’t rush into buying because if you sign an unconditional agreement without Overseas Investment consent, you could face a hefty fine.

Talk to our team

We’ve been trusted homebuilders in New Zealand since 1909, so when we say we’re here for you, we mean it. We understand the rules and the possibilities, so if you’re unsure on where to start on your home buying journey talk to our team today. 


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