Investment Opportunities in
New Zealand Real Estate
New Zealand is ranked first in the world for ease of doing business. We’re a stable and safe location for investing with confidence.
An Investor’s Dream
- A country with a desire to build 100,000 homes to help first time buyers.
- A stable and globally competitive economy, making it easy to do business there.
- Tax Benefits. No stamp duty, no wealth or death duty, no estate taxes, no capital gains tax.
- No Exchange Control.
Why DDL Homes?
- Rising Star in construction with a dedicated professional support team.
- Early introductory endorsement by government official for DDL Homes capability.
- Fixed price agreements in place with the government to purchase completed projects.
- DDL Homes are approved government developers with years of experience in construction.
- Transparent trustworthy and easy to do business with.
- Funds only required when full consented sites are approved.
- First charge on land and assets.
- UK/EU representation.
Partner with Us
Currently DDL Homes have 149 homes under construction, with a further 180 consented. We wish to accelerate delivery numbers within a three to five-year timeline to increase output to 1000 units annually.
To feed this growth, we are keen to develop relationships with introducers, landowners, agents, and funding/investment sources.
For more information about investment opportunities with DDL Homes, please contact us.
New Zealand’s legal system is derived from that of the United Kingdom. New Zealand is a parliamentary democracy where elections are held every 3 years. The voting system is known as ‘mixed-member proportional’ (MMP) which is a proportional representative system similar to that used in Germany.
Elections are held every 3 years and the current government is led by the New Zealand Labour Party in coalition with New Zealand First and the Green Party. The opposition party is the New Zealand National Party. All Governments in New Zealand pursue a similar economic and foreign policy agenda and there is little policy difference between Governments led by the Labour Party or the National Party in relation to the main economic framework of New Zealand.
New Zealand is also party to a number of free trade treaties including those with two of its largest economic partners, being China and Australia. There are other trade treaties in existence including with Japan, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada and a number of other nations.
The method of land ownership is through a central register operated by a Government agency known as Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). Since 2002, titles, survey plans and related documents have been held in an electronic database called Landonline.
The title system in New Zealand is the “Torrens” system with guaranteed title. The state guarantees the accuracy of the title and interests registered on it. This is the same system as that used in Canada, Ireland and Australia.
Overseas Investment – the Overseas Investment Act 2005 governs purchasing property in New Zealand. The relevant provisions of the Act include:
- The Act does not apply to a New Zealand Citizen or someone who is ordinarily resident in New Zealand.
- Land which is ‘sensitive land’ under the Act requires Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval to be granted to the purchaser before registration of the land transfer can occur.
- Residential land is presently subject to the requirements of the Act. There are some exceptions/qualifications to this. For example, for an apartment development of 20 or more units, an exemption is readily available.
- Property situated in islands outside of the North and South Island are also subject to the Act requiring consent.
- Commercial and industrial property, as well as offices, are not subject to the Act so long as they are not situated adjacent to a waterway or riverbed.
- There is also an exclusion for forestry land.
- There is a process to apply for consent by the OIO for property that would otherwise infringe the terms of the Act. It is still possible to purchase residential property, land adjacent to a waterway or other sensitive land but specific advice should be taken well in advance.
- It is also possible to purchase less than 25% interest in a property without requiring the consent of the Overseas Investment Office. A party can also be a lender of money in relation to a property development without consent. In terms of being a lender, it is important that this is not used as a device to circumvent the Act. In general, the lending must be in the course of the lender’s ordinary business activity.
This is legislation which governs investment in assets other than direct land ownership. For example, this would arise if someone is lending money, being part of a joint venture or other structures where they would take an interest in an investment, or trusting another person to look after their interests.
There are a wide range of exemptions to this legislation such as where someone is considered an experienced property investor, where a financial advisor can confirm that, or a wealthy investor meaning they have net assets in excess of $5,000,000.00 NZD. This is intended to be a consumer protection measure so that experienced and wealthy people are not required to undertake a full disclosure process. In addition, any investment exceeding $750,000.00 NZD is not subject to that legislation.
The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 and its regulations place obligations on reporting entities, such as lawyers, accountants, banks and other financial institution to detect and report any money laundering and terrorism financing. Generally, this involves identifying the beneficial owners or controlling persons of an entity. New Zealand is a member of the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental body, whose other members include Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom and the United States.Learn More
Companies can be used for investment in property in New Zealand, similar to companies formed in the United Kingdom. The process of incorporation is reasonably simple and easy and is done online via the New Zealand Companies Office. There is no minimum capital requirement as there is in some other jurisdictions.
Limited partnerships are also frequently used in New Zealand as a method of investment by overseas parties. In this way an overseas investor can be a limited partner of a limited partnership which then enables the overseas investor to be taxed in their own tax jurisdiction in respect of any profits they receive from their New Zealand investment. The limited partnership system works in New Zealand similar to as it does in the USA and Australia by having a general partner, which is an ordinary company, operate the partnership and one or more limited partners who contribute capital or make loan advances.
Joint ventures are regularly used in New Zealand and with a similar structure to that of a limited partnership in that overseas persons may derive their income and pay tax in their own jurisdiction.
Trusts are also used in New Zealand in relation to property investment but are less common for overseas investors.
The currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar. That is a floating currency.
Interest rates in New Zealand are governed by the Reserve Bank which is independent from political influence with a mandate to keep inflation between 1% and 3% per annum. Presently the base rate of interest known as the official cash rate is 1%.
In New Zealand, bank interest rates for residential property currently range between 3.5% and 4.5%. Commercial rates vary quite considerably from a base of 3.5% from banks to up to 20% from second tier lenders with limited security. For well-established developers, commercial interest rates are often between 5% and 7% per annum.
The banking system in New Zealand is regulated. The banks trading in New Zealand are in the main owned by Australian banks. For example, ASB Bank is owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ is an Asia Pacific Bank based out of Australia, Westpac is also an Australian Bank and Bank of New Zealand is owned by National Australia Bank.
The tax rate applicable to companies in New Zealand is 28% per annum. This also applies to property development but not long-term investment of property. In the residential market, under a ‘bright-line rule’, properties are taxed on their capital gain if they are sold within 5 years of acquisition.
There is no test for commercial or industrial property and it depends on the circumstances as to whether or not it is taxable. The individual tax rates go as high as 33% per annum which is also the Trust rate. In relation to a limited partnership or a joint venture, these will often be taxed in their applicable tax jurisdiction and subject to a withholding tax which is sometimes retained in New Zealand. The rate of non-resident withholding tax is typically 15%.
In New Zealand, we have Goods and Services Tax. This is similar to VAT and other consumer taxes. The rate of taxation is 15%. For property transactions when the vendor of the property is registered for GST and the purchaser is registered for GST, and they are conducting a taxable activity which involves development of land, there is no GST payable. If a developer were to purchase property and the vendor was not registered for GST, the developer would get a claim of the GST component of the purchase price payable after the transaction has settled. Similarly, if a developer were to dispose of property to an unregistered person they would be obliged to account for GST in respect of the sale at the date of sale.
New Zealand does not have any estate duty or death duties.
New Zealand also has no stamp duty unlike Australia.
There is no state or federal system in New Zealand and the only other authority with the ability to tax are local authorities (Councils) by way of rates. The rating system is based on land value and is not significant. The rates for each property are published by the relevant Council and generally available for inspection at any time.
Whilst all care has been taken to provide reasonably accurate information within this article, DDL Homes Ltd cannot guarantee the validity of all data and information utilised in preparing this research. Accordingly DDL Homes Limited, does not make any representation of warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the content contained herein and no legal liability is to be assumed or implied with respect thereto. Prospective investors should seek updated independent legal and taxation advise before considering investing in New Zealand.