New Zealanders buying property in Queensland
It is common knowledge that kiwis flock to Queensland seeking sandy shores, sunshine and a relaxed life in the land of opportunity. Do kiwis have to however leave their dreams of owning a quarter acre ‘section’ at customs on the way over?
Do New Zealanders have to get approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB)?
Generally, all overseas buyers hoping to purchase a piece of real estate in Australia must apply first with the FIRB. New Zealand citizens are however exempt from the need for prior approval when buying urban (residential) property.
New Zealand citizens who wish to buy rural or commercial property in Australia, like all other foreign citizens, would likely need to obtain FIRB approval.
What about Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty?
The Government has introduced a stamp duty surcharge or Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty for foreigners that want to buy property in Australia (currently an additional 3% of the purchase price applies in Queensland).
When a New Zealand citizen arrives in Australia, they are automatically granted a special visa known as a Special Category Visa (subclass 444). This visa exempts a New Zealand citizen from having to pay the stamp duty surcharge, provided the New Zealander is in the country at the time of settlement and contract signing.
Are Kiwis eligible for the First Home Owner’s Grant?
The Australian Government’s First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) is available to permanent residents, as if they are citizens of Australia. Because New Zealand citizens are considered for all intents and purposes, to be permanent residents of Australia (under the Special Category visa), they are eligible for the FHOG, provide they meet the eligibility criteria.
Do Kiwis have to buy new property?
No, New Zealand citizens are allowed to buy vacant land and existing properties as well as new properties.
Do Kiwis have to be living in Australia to buy a property in Australia?
New Zealand citizens do not have to be living in Australia to buy property in Australia, however your overseas residency may affect interest rates, your ability to borrow and your entitlement to certain grants and benefits. You also may be liable for additional non-resident taxes.