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If you're an Australian citizen, buying a property in New Zealand is easier than you might think. But from housing market conditions to fees and taxes that apply, there's a lot to consider before purchasing a property in the Land of the Long White Cloud. Keep reading to learn more about the ins and outs of buying a house in New Zealand.
The New Zealand property market reached a price peak in November 2021, with near-zero interest rates during the pandemic driving prices skywards. Things have changed markedly since then, however, with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand raising its official cash rate to a 14-year high of 5.5% in May 2023.
With the rising cost of living and falling consumer confidence, not to mention the impact of extreme weather events like Cyclone Gabrielle in February 2023, the NZ housing market has experienced a significant downturn. According to data from REINZ, as of April 2023, the national median house price in New Zealand is $780,000.
However, prices vary markedly depending on where you want to buy, ranging from NZ$379,000 on the South Island's West Coast to NZ$995,000 in Auckland. Check out the table below for a guide to median property prices in different regions around the country.
|Region||April 2023 Median house price in NZD||Annual change|
|Bay of Plenty||$824,500||-7.9%|
New Zealand has regulations in place to restrict international investors who want to buy residential property, so can Australians buy property in NZ? Happily, the answer is yes. If you're an Australian citizen, you don't need to apply to the Overseas Investment Office to get permission to buy residential property in NZ.
But there are restrictions on buying property on "sensitive land", such as on an island or next to a national park. Different rules also apply to permanent residents of Australia who are not ordinarily resident in NZ, so it's worth checking the relevant rules for your situation.
NZ Immigration offers a handy online tool you can use to work out whether you're eligible to buy a property in NZ. Use it to find out exactly where you stand before taking any further steps.
If you're eligible and ready to buy a property in NZ from Australia, here's what you need to do:
While Aussies and Kiwis have a lot in common, there are also plenty of differences between our two countries. Make sure you consider the following factors when buying a property across the ditch:
The close economic relationship between Australia and NZ helps ensure that your tax obligations when you own property in NZ are relatively easy to manage.
Not only can Aussies take out mortgages in NZ, but you'll also only need to pay tax in Australia on any rental income you receive from a NZ investment property. Just like with an investment property in Australia, you can claim expenses such as borrowing costs, maintenance and repairs as tax deductions.
If you sell the property and trigger a capital gain, NZ doesn't have capital gains tax (CGT). You will, however, need to pay CGT in Australia.
Finally, while there is no stamp duty or land tax to worry about, there are other fees you'll need to consider. The good news is that if you've bought property in Australia before, you'll be familiar with the sort of costs you can expect. These include conveyancing and legal fees, which start at approximately NZ$1,500, plus mortgage establishment fees, property valuation and building inspection costs.
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