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OIO approves 67 applications to buy homes in last quarter

30 July 2019

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approved during the three months from April to June 67 applications from overseas people entitled to buy homes to live in.

This is in line with Stats NZ data released on 26 July that shows home transfers to people who do not hold New Zealand citizenship or a resident visa fell to 0.5 percent in the three months to 30 June 2019, down from 2.8 percent in the June 2018 quarter.

Since 22 October 2018, most overseas people have not been entitled to buy a home to live in. This includes people with temporary visas, such as student, work and tourist visas.

However, overseas people with New Zealand residency can apply for consent to buy a home.

Land Information New Zealand Group Manager, Overseas Investment Office, Vanessa Horne said the decline in overseas people buying homes shows the impact of the new rules introduced last October.

“There will always be some overseas people who are entitled to buy homes. If they have a residency visa, they need to apply to the OIO for consent. People from Australia or Singapore can buy homes to live in without consent because of New Zealand’s free trade agreements with these countries.”

A third of applications to the OIO for consent to buy homes were from people from the United Kingdom. The country with the second-highest number of applications was China (30 percent of applications), followed by the United States (10 percent) and South Africa (9 percent).

Auckland was the top region for consents.

Since October the OIO has been processing home to live in applications in two days on average.

Ms Horne said she was confident that most overseas people are respecting the new rules.

“We started out with a strong educational focus after the new rules came into effect. We’re now working with a few buyers and conveyancers who failed to report their house purchases and we are looking at the appropriate action. The OIO can impose a range of penalties, from fines to requiring people to sell their properties.”

ends

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