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Thread: "Labour's Bill to curb foreigners buying New Zealand homes becomes law"

  1. #1
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    Default "Labour's Bill to curb foreigners buying New Zealand homes becomes law"

    "New screening requirements will start within two months following Royal assent." (I don't know how long Royal assent takes?)

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/pro...es-becomes-law

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/natio...ownership-govt

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/...ectid=12107703

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    I thought the proposed changes would still allow anyone with residency to buy, but I don't yet have conclusive evidence for this.

    According to these recent cabinet minutes, it looks like these are the criteria for someone "ordinarily resident in New Zealand":

    "Who requires consent to buy a house to live
    - agreed to expand the Bill’s definition of “ordinarily resident in New Zealand” to also include all resident visa holders who have resided in New Zealand for the past 12 months and have been present in New Zealand for at least 183 days in the past 12 months;"

    "Tax residency
    - agreed to amend the definition of “ordinarily resident in New Zealand” in the Bill to introduce the 183 day rule for tax residency as an additional element of the test to be met in order for a non-New Zealand citizen to be excluded from the requirement to obtain consent to purchase residential land;"

    https://treasury.govt.nz/sites/defau...118-minute.pdf


    However, here is an older document from the proposal that shows much more detail regarding who gets to buy property, which seems to outline a way to get approval before meeting the requirements to be ordinarily resident in NZ. However, this was just a set of recommendations, I'm not sure what the gov actually approved:
    https://treasury.govt.nz/sites/defau...cr-3894621.pdf

    "The Bill provides for a pathway to allow overseas persons (i.e. those not “ordinarily resident in New Zealand”) to buy sensitive land that is residential in certain circumstances if they hold an appropriate visa and have a commitment to reside in New Zealand. The details of this pathway are to be dealt with via regulation.Unless the regulations are passed to come into effect alongside the primary legislation, certain people will be locked out unintentionally from the residential property market. Therefore these regulations are necessary to give effect to the overall policy intent."

    Essentially, the recommendation in the above document was for residency class visa holders to make a statement that they intended to meet commitment to NZ criteria. That way, you don't have to wait 12 months before buying your first house. But, you would have to sell the property if you ended up not meeting those expectations. Hopefully that made it into actual legislation...

    I wish I knew what the final wording of the bill was. Does anyone have a link?

    Here's the site I've been gathering my information:
    https://treasury.govt.nz/publication...amendment-bill


    P.S. Also note that many visas that allow you to stay in NZ are TEMPORARY, e.g. Essential Skills Work Visa does not give you residency. It must be a residence class visa, with a path to permanent residency, in order to qualify - at least that's my current understanding.
    Last edited by Juniper; 16th August 2018 at 02:39 PM.

  3. #3
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    I wish I knew what the final wording of the bill was. Does anyone have a link?
    Try this:
    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bill...amendment-bill

  4. #4
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    Here is the key bit:
    "The bar-3 bill provides for an amendment to the definition of “ordinarily resident in New Zealand” so that instead of requiring a person to hold a “permanent resident” visa, they must hold a “residence class” visa. It also adds a requirement for the person to be tax resident in New Zealand (Part 2, clause 7(4) amending definition in section 6(2) of “ordinarily resident in New Zealand”)."

    So any tax resident in NZ who holds a residence visa or permanent resident visa (or is a citizen) can buy any property. So can Australians and Singaporeans (because there are treaties that specify this).

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    Thank you both. For anyone who's confused about tax resident status (like I was, hehe) here's a relevant link: https://www.ird.govt.nz/internationa...ncy-index.html

    So, it sounds like the takeaway is that you need to hold a residence class visa AND be a tax resident, if I'm reading all this correctly. And that the cabinet minutes quoted in my last post in this thread requires 183 days spent in NZ during the past 12 months to be considered a tax resident for purposes of getting consent to buy these "sensitive" properties (i.e. almost all types of property at this point).

    I suppose we will see what happens after Royal Assent. Hopefully they will come out with some easy-to-read guides for real estate agents, prospective buyers, etc.
    Last edited by Juniper; 24th August 2018 at 01:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jawnbc View Post
    So any tax resident in NZ who holds a residence visa or permanent resident visa (or is a citizen) can buy any property. So can Australians and Singaporeans (because there are treaties that specify this). [/FONT][/COLOR]
    Based on the reading I've done it looks like even a Permanent Resident holder would be held to the restriction of also being a continued tax resident in order to buy and hold property, and if she decides to leave New Zealand, would then be forced to sell the property on. But, it doesn't appear that any type of restrictions exist on citizens whatsoever.

    What I don't see is if the intent is to make this happen retroactively, that is, would current off-shore non-citizens who own property be forced to sell it on? That would dramatically change the dynamics of the housing market for those of us who are eligible to and intend to buy property in New Zealand...

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    There's a statement on the Overseas Investment Office website https://www.linz.govt.nz/news/2018-0...n-royal-assent - looks like it might be a while before they start clarifying details:
    From early October, details about the changes and how to apply will be added to the OIO section of our website.
    The new law commences on Monday, October 22, 2018, and will restrict certain overseas people from buying residential land in New Zealand from that date. ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oregonkiwi View Post
    There's a statement on the Overseas Investment Office website https://www.linz.govt.nz/news/2018-0...n-royal-assent - looks like it might be a while before they start clarifying details:
    That helps clarify things, thanks :-) It looks like we'll be renting at least until Skilled Migrant visas come through! We'll have spent the majority of the last 12 months in NZ by then (presuming we can get back on a work visa soon).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by diallta View Post
    Based on the reading I've done it looks like even a Permanent Resident holder would be held to the restriction of also being a continued tax resident in order to buy and hold property, and if she decides to leave New Zealand, would then be forced to sell the property on. But, it doesn't appear that any type of restrictions exist on citizens whatsoever.

    What I don't see is if the intent is to make this happen retroactively, that is, would current off-shore non-citizens who own property be forced to sell it on? That would dramatically change the dynamics of the housing market for those of us who are eligible to and intend to buy property in New Zealand...
    Where does it say that the new rules are applied retroactively to past non-residents? The new laws to control non-residents from buying NZ houses isn't a means to 'punish' existing non-residents that have houses in NZ. So no one is being forced to sell even if circumstances change in the future, (ie a PR tax resident moves overseas), they would still be able to hold on to the property. This new law is to stop NEW non-residents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Super_BQ View Post
    Where does it say that the new rules are applied retroactively to past non-residents? The new laws to control non-residents from buying NZ houses isn't a means to 'punish' existing non-residents that have houses in NZ. So no one is being forced to sell even if circumstances change in the future, (ie a PR tax resident moves overseas), they would still be able to hold on to the property. This new law is to stop NEW non-residents.
    It doesn't say that anywhere, but if you look at some of the links above it seems to indicate that non-citizens eligible to buy a house under the new rules will need to maintain their tax residency or be forced to sell the property on when it lapses. It seems as though it would be in the spirit of the new regulation, which I read as making housing more affordable for people living and working in New Zealand, to apply the same condition to existing, non-citizen owners who are offshore...though I wouldn't be surprised if existing owners were "grandfathered" in.

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