Overseas Investors - what you need to know

Overseas Investors - what you need to know

27 June 2018

We’ve been receiving enquiries from a large number of clients, asking to be kept up to date on what’s happening in the overseas investment sphere and what the changes could mean for them as buyers and sellers. 

Last week saw the release of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee report on the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill. The bill is intended to provide more regulatory control over who can buy New Zealand residential land, reclassifying residential land as "sensitive land" under the Overseas Investment Act 2005. 

Some of the key proposed changes as part of the bill include: 

- New properties – overseas investors purchasing off-plan properties in developments of more than 20 units will be allowed, up to a limit of 60% of the units in the complex. These apartments can be retained by the Overseas Investor as a rental, or sold under a rent-to-buy scheme or as part of a shared-equity development.  

 - Existing properties – in addition to Australians, those on NZ residency visas (such as a study or work visa) will be permitted to purchase existing homes, along with Singaporeans

- Hotels -  these are still available as an option to overseas investors, provided the hotel comprises 20+ units and provided the owner enters a lease-back arrangement with the hotel developer and doesn’t use the unit for themselves for more than 30 days per year 

There has been considerable political debate about the merits of the bill and its ability to deliver on its intended outcomes. A significant number of submissions were made to the Select Committee which has resulted in a number of changes to what was proposed in the original bill. The amended bill will now go to parliament for its second reading and the proposed changes will be debated. The initial indications are that the coalition government is intent on making the amendments to the Overseas Investment Act so the bill will likely progress to Royal Assent stage and be signed into the Act in the coming months. A full copy of the report can be downloaded here.

If you’d like to discuss the potential impact of these changes and what they may mean to you and your property plans, please get in touch.