Statistics on property transfers to overseas buyers

by Krizzel Canlas31 Oct 2018

The latest report from Statistics NZ shows 9.8% of home transfers in Auckland inner city for the three months ending September were to overseas buyers – people who didn’t hold New Zealand citizenship or a resident visa.

The figures are down from 22% in the June 2018 quarter, and are similar to the 9.3% of home transfers to overseas people in the September 2018 quarter.

The results may have been influenced by the anticipated changes to the Overseas Investment Act, according to property statistics manager Melissa McKenzie. The Overseas Investment Act came into effect on October 22, after the September quarter covered in these statistics.

“This may reflect seasonal patterns, but that will not be clear until we get a few more years’ data,” she said.

Across the Auckland region, overseas buyers account to 4% of home transfers in the September 2018 quarter.

Auckland’s Upper Harbour, Howick, and Henderson-Massey local board areas had the highest rates of home transfers to resident visa holders. For NZ excluding Auckland, this group accounted to 7% of home transfers.

“Resident visa holders could have lived in NZ for many decades and chosen not to get citizenship, or they could be people who have only held a resident visa for a very short time,” McKenzie noted.

In Auckland’s Manurewa, Otara-Papatoetoe, and Maungakiekie-Tamaki local board areas at least 20% of home transfers were to corporate buyers. For NZ excluding Auckland, this group accounted for 8.7% of home transfers.

Nationally, 2% of home transfers were to overseas buyers, down from 2.3% from a year ago. When Auckland is excluded, 1.2% of all home transfers in the September quarter were to this group.

A transfer is not the same as a sale. Transfers often involve a sale, but there are many other possible reasons for a transfer (such as marriage settlements, the death of a family member, boundary changes, and trustee changes).

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