Can New Zealand Citizens Buy Property in Australia?
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: EASY
The simple answer is YES. It is super straightforward to buy property as a New Zealand citizen given almost all Australian qualifications translate to Kiwis. All you need to do is some thorough research.
Why are Kiwi’s interested in buying property in Australia?
The New Zealand lifestyle has a lot in common with the Australian way of life, making the move ‘across the ditch’ more realistic and appealing for Kiwis. New Zealand citizens living in Australia are considered permanent residents and are therefore offered all the same benefits and liberties as any other Australian; this includes acquiring a mortgage at the same rate and even being eligible for the First Home Owners Grant.
Dissimilar to other foreign property buyers, New Zealand citizens are able to purchase new properties as well as existing, established, vacant land and previously owned properties, just like any Australian can. Further to this, Kiwi’s looking at buying a standard residential property do not need Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval.
If you are looking to purchase a property as a New Zealand citizen, we recommend considering the following points:
For Kiwi’s currently living in Australia…
As a New Zealand citizen you are allowed to live and work in Australia permanently, and the same goes for buying a house in Australia. Your loan can be used for any kind of residential housing – this includes both a home to live in and an investment property in Australia.
If you’re not currently living in Australia…
The same rules apply to Kiwi’s looking to buy in Australia that are still living in New Zealand, however, mortgage terms might be slightly different based on your lender and you will need to review your Stamp Duty costs based on which state or territory you are looking purchase in – see ‘Stamp Duty considerations’ for more information below.
Stamp Duty considerations for Kiwi’s
Stamp duty is a tax on a property transaction that is charged by each state and territory and goes straight to the state government – each state in Australia imposes a different stamp duty regime (except the Northern Territory) so these costs can vary state to state. The stamp duty rate will depend on factors such as the value of the property, if it is your primary residence and your residency status.
When citizens from New Zealand arrive in Australia they are allowed a Special Category Visa which means you will be exempt from having to pay stamp duty surcharge which is normally required for NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA, the ACT and TAS.
However, it’s important to note that in New South Wales you’ll need to be in the country for at least 200 days to avoid this fee. You’re also required to be in the country at the time of settlement and contract signing in order to be eligible to avoid the stamp duty charge. The only state that you can remain outside of Australia at the time of settlement is in the Northern Territory.
Welcome to the wild Australian property market!
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