The New Zealand property buying process is different from other countries. There are also specific requirements for foreign nationals to fulfil before being able to buy property in NZ.

If you are looking to buy property in New Zealand a Buyer’s Agent has the skills, contacts and market insight to help secure the right property.

Requirements for overseas property buyers

A foreign investor must have a New Zealand bank account, which takes up to 2 weeks to set up and a New Zealand IRD (tax) number, which will take 8 to 10 working days to set up with Inland Revenue. An overseas tax payer identification number will be required.

Some types of purchases in New Zealand by non New Zealanders are subject to government approval through the Overseas Investment Office (OIO). This would be the case for sensitive land or significant valued business investments.

Types of properties

The most common form of purchase in New Zealand involves freehold land, where you are purchasing the right to own the buildings and land. There are some situations where the land is not a component of the purchase and these are lease type situations, where you own the buildings and the right to rent the land.

Technical aspects of property buying in our country

Making an offer on a property – this will be handled by a Real Estate Agent and will be submitted in writing on a Sale and Purchase agreement form. Offers may be conditional, which means that they are subject to specific written conditions being fulfilled within stated timeframes, or unconditional meaning that you agree with all of the terms stated and the offer is binding.

Offer acceptance means that your offer has been accepted by the vendor and it is legally binding. At this point a deposit is paid, usually 10% of the purchase price. The remaining money is then paid on the settlement date.

Professional advice – in New Zealand most people will seek legal advice from a Solicitor and if the property is to be earning an income an Accountant as there will be tax implications.

Rateable Value (RV) – every property in New Zealand has an RV value on which the annual rates payments are calculated. There values are not a reliable indication of the true market value of a property, however there is usually a general relationship between market value and RV at a given time.

Independent valuation – these are provided by registered Valuers who are able to professionally accurately determine the current market value of a property.

Title – all land information related to that specific piece of land including survey boundaries, ownership history and exact size. This information should be checked by a solicitor prior to making a property purchase.

LIM report – this is a formal record of all of the councils information about this specific piece of land. It will cover all consents and permits and any special information related to land such as drainage and geology related information. It is important to consult this information prior to making a property purchase.

Building inspection – this is not always essential but it is recommended as a means of ensuring that you are fully aware of what you are buying. The report will cover all aspects of the building structure.

Settlement – this is when the balance of the purchase price is paid and you take over ownership of the property.

Buyer’s Agents are registered professionals with hands on experience and established networks to locate and secure properties that match what you are looking for.