Fiji section on sale for less than $15

Fiji property listing
A view from the freehold block of land for sale (

Can't afford to buy a house in New Zealand? How about building one in Fiji?

A block of land on one of its islands is up for sale for the bargain price of FJ$20 (NZ$13.50), thanks to recent changes to Fiji's Land Sales Act.

The only catch is that you must build a house on it worth FJ$250,000, or NZ$168,000.

The land sale appears to be the first victim of an amendment to the law that says foreign landowners of freehold land must build a house before the end of 2016.

If a house is not built, the owner will be fined 10 percent of the land's value every six months. Owners could even be jailed.

The 1.8 acre property is listed for sale on the Fiji Realty website.

Fiji property listing
The property listing (

Pictures show the Koro Island property set on a lush green hillside with a brilliant view of the ocean. Nearby activities include diving, dining and hiking, the listing says.

United States-based Karen Seaton, who owns land in Fiji, wrote an open letter to Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama on Wednesday saying the cheap property sale was being made by an owner who wants nothing to do with the country and has lost faith in its legislative system.

"They just want out now... believing the worthlessness of their investment... with terms of imprisonment for noncompliance, [which] your government initiated," she wrote.

In August 2016 real estate company Taveuni Development told the Fiji Times sales had plummeted for their estates in Koro, Maui Bay and Savusavu, but they had been flooded with requests from up to 200 foreigners to list their properties for sale.

But the Real Estate Agents Licensing Board's Dr Abdul Hassam said it's not unusual to have laws for those who were not Fiji citizens.

"It should be noted that every country has laws to control the sale and development of land by foreigners," he told the Fiji Times.

"Holding land for a longer period with the expectation to sell at a later date at a high price is not good for the country. This would further inflate the value of land that would be beyond the reach of local buyers."