The National Party's foreign buyers policy, which would allow overseas buyers to purchase property worth over $2 million dollars provided they pay a 15% tax, has caught the eyes of billionaires across the world.
Caleb Paterson of real estate agency Paterson Luxury, says news of the policy reached buyers in offshore markets almost immediately, triggering a surge in calls to the firm.
“There has been pent-up demand from our international clients who have been unable to access New Zealand property for the past six years, and they are highly motivated to seize this potential opportunity."
He says there is a significant difference in buyers looking for a $3m property compared to those at the $30m+ end of the market.
For reference, 15% of $30 million would result in $4.5 million in tax.
But, Patterson says there is even potential to scale the level of taxation so that those at the upper end pay a greater percentage.
“While paying $4.5 tax on a $30m property may sound significant to most of us, the opportunity to purchase in New Zealand freely outweighs any tax the government would throw at them."
“If this policy is introduced, it will be a return to a time when we are dealing consistently with billionaires again. This segment will come in and buy what they need and what they want - with little concern for price if the property is right."
The construction sector, which is declining at the moment may also benefit from this policy, with the opportunity for larger developments.
“Greater access for foreign buyers could also pave the way for international developers to come back into New Zealand, purchase larger land lots and create more housing stock for the general market,” he says.
Paterson says demand for property is already high in Auckland, Queenstown and Northland.
“There is huge interest from some of the billionaires we are dealing with for property in the Bay of Islands. They are looking for acres of land on the water so they can park their launch, but also have room to land their helicopter. These buyers want to fly in with their friends easily and also need room to build additional amenities,” he says.
He says if the policy were to be introduced before Christmas, they would expect a flood of activity in January.