← back

Guide to Buying a Property in New Zealand

Posted on April 1, 2014 – Shipping Vehicles

Guide to Buying a Property in New Zealand

Congratulations on making the best decision of your life and deciding to move to sunny New Zealand! Now, to live the dream, you need a place to call home. While it may be sensible to rent for a while until your find your feet, buying a property is a good investment and there are no real restrictions for foreigners, unless you are buying a particularly expensive place, or it comes with a lot of land.  


Unless you are in the fortunate position to be able to purchase your property outright, you are likely to need a mortgage.

Banks and lenders offer 3 categories of mortgages, depending on your residency status:

Category 1 for Permanent Residents. You will have access to the same mortgage facilities as New Zealand’s citizens and will be able to borrow up to 95% of the value of the property you are buying.

Category 2 for holders of Work Permits. Mortgage lenders will be slightly more cautious and require more guarantee from you, in the form of a deposit. The amount varies from bank to bank, from 20% to 50% or more, but generally speaking, you are likely to be able to get a mortgage for 80% of the price of the property you are considering.

Category 3 when a property is bought as a holiday homes. Lenders will apply similar rules to those in Category 2, although they may tend to be a little stricter on the deposit required.

However, you should note that, unlike other countries, 10% of the price of the property is payable when the contract is signed, so you need to plan for this capital to be available at that time.  

Do you need a lawyer to complete the process?

The answer is yes. Buying a property in New Zealand is straightforward and quick but it is also one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make, so would you really want to take risks? Once you have found a property you want to buy, you should make an offer in writing to the estate agent. If the offer is accepted, this is when you will be asked to pay the 10% deposit mentioned above, which will be held by your solicitor. Should you change your mind after that point, you would lose your deposit.

If you are buying a property which:

  • Is worth more than NZ$10 million;
  • Comes with more than 5 hectares of land (developed or not);
  • Is a plot of land larger than 2,000 m2 and consists of coastal land,

you will have to apply to the Overseas Investment Office for approval of the purchase unless you are a permanent resident.

Likewise, if you are buying a property or plot of land on or next to an island or nature reserve and are not a permanent resident, you won’t be allowed to buy more than 0.4 hectares (1 acre) of land.

You and the seller will then agree on a "settlement date" which is the date when you will own the property and when the balance of the purchase price is due.

The whole process usually takes no more than around 6 weeks.

What are the costs involved in buying a property in New Zealand?

The costs of buying a property in New Zealand are very reasonable, as there is no stamp duty payable to the government and the estate agent’s fees are paid by the seller.

In addition to the price of the property itself, you can expect to have to pay the following fees:

Solicitor’s fee: They can vary between NZ$1,000 to $2,000 depending on the searches that need to be carried out.

Property valuation fee: usually around NZ$400-500

Bank Transfer fee: NZ$50-70

Building inspection report: although it isn’t an insignificant sum of money, as they cost around NZ$400-$500, it is money wisely spent as it will flag up potential problems with the property.

Land Information Memorandum containing information from the local council showing the property’s boundaries and its building consents , etc..., usually costing around NZ$100-400.

If you are getting a mortgage, you will have to pay a registration fee of about NZ$50.  

New Zealand’s quality of life is well known and keeps attracting people from all over the world. Stunning nature, friendly people, good weather, there is nothing not to like about it, so don’t wait any longer and join us!

And if you need any help with shipping your belongings, call us on +64 9 303 0075 or get a free quote.

← back

Related articles

What is a Warrant of Fitness and Can I Arrange It Myself When Importing My Car?
Posted on 1st June 2018
During the certification process, your car will be issued with a Warrant of Fitness – also called Certificate of Fitness depending on the vehicle’s size - which is a key document when importing a vehicle into New Zealand.
Read more

When Is the Best Time to Ship Your Vehicle
Posted on 29th June 2017
Car shipping costs vary greatly with the seasons. Read on to find out at what time of the year you will find the best prices.
Read more

How to Import Cars to New Zealand
Posted on 14th May 2017
Thinking about importing your car into New Zealand yourself? Find out why it isn't a good idea.
Read more

What to Consider When Purchasing Marine Insurance
Posted on 1st February 2017
Marine insurance is a shipping insurance that will cover damages or loss of cargo while at sea and during transport to and from port terminals. Although it covers parts of the journey organised by shipping companies, it isn’t automatically included in most quotes
Read more

Our easy - 3 step shipping process

Advise pick-up location
Documents & shipping
Delivered to your door

Tell us the pick up location and we'll arrange a date & time

We handle all customs & shipping including insurance

Enjoy your toy, after it's delivered to your door anywhere in NZ.

Get Started

Shipping a vehicle?

Get a free quote

Unlock your dream now …

Increased measures - Takata airbag recall.. Read more.

Copyright © 2018 McCullough Ltd | Terms & Conditions

Website crafted by bocapa