If you quite fancy the idea of owning a little part of Middle Earth, check out our quick introduction to purchasing a property in New Zealand…

Choosing a home that’s right for you

When it comes to making a major investment like buying a house the most important thing to remember is not to rush into things.

It’s eminently preferable to inspect a property yourself before committing to a purchase to ensure you’re getting what’s advertised.

Of course this can be difficult if you’re relocating abroad, so if you’re unable to make the trip before you move it’s advised that you consider renting for a short period and take your time finding your dream home once you’re in New Zealand.

Make use of all the tools and services available to you

The internet is a tool you should definitely make use of when looking to purchase a property in New Zealand.

If you’re not sure which part of New Zealand you want to settle in, taking to blogs and forums and talking to expats already living in the nation is a great way of gaining first-hand knowledge of what to expect from different regions. Insights from existing expats could prove invaluable when it comes to finding out day-to-day things like what the traffic is like and how effective the local authorities are.

You may also want to hunt for recommendations for lawyers and estate agents. The services of a reputable lawyer could prove particularly invaluable if you’re not going to be physically present at all stages of the property purchase process.

Purchasing a property through auction

It’s quite common in New Zealand for domestic properties to be sold through auction, and if you’re searching for a new family home this can be a great way of snapping up a bargain.

However, purchasing through an auction can require some leg work in terms of scrutinising the property and researching the local property market ahead of time so you have a rough idea of what the average asking price should be. Many of the homes sold through auction also tend to be in need of renovation.

It’s important to be aware of the fact that all auction sales are binding and you’ll typically need to place down a 10% deposit if your bid is successful.

Possible restrictions on purchases

As a foreign national looking to buy property in New Zealand, it also pays to be aware that certain purchases must be approved by the Overseas Investment Office.

Restrictions can apply if a property costs more than NZ$10 million, is on a plot larger than five hectares or is on the coast and larger than 2,000 square metres.

If you have any doubts over whether your purchase may run afoul of these restrictions it’s advised that you seek the services of a local lawyer.

Making a currency transfer

When moving to New Zealand from another country it’s also important to think about how you’re going to transfer your funds in order to make the purchase.

One way to ensure that you get more for your money is to enlist the services of a reputable currency broker like Currencies Direct. A currency specialist can potentially save you thousands by eliminating transfer fees and offering you a more competitive exchange rate than a bank.

They also offer services like the option of being able to fix an exchange rate for up to a year before needing to make the transfer – particularly useful if you want to budget for your property purchase.


If you’d like more information about buying a property in New Zealand, download our buying guide today!