Foreign buyer Budget rumours swirl over $5m-plus homes

Rumours are rife the new National-led government’s first Budget next Thursday will allow foreigners to buy $5million-plus residential properties.

At last year’s election, National promised to allow foreigners to buy $2m-plus properties — reversing a ban imposed by the previous Labour government, which only made exceptions for Australians and Singaporeans.

National’s coalition partner New Zealand First, however, vetoed that policy.

Mark Harris, NZ Sotheby’s International Realty’s Queenstown-based managing director, says he’s heard the rumours, "but I’ll believe it when I see it1".

"We’d be supportive of any loosening-up of the foreign buyer rules, so if it wasn’t $2m, if it was $4m or $5m, we’d be supportive of it."

Local-based Oliver Road owner Cam Winter says he’s heard the $5m-plus limit might relate just to a class of residency application.

Where a certain type of would-be resident had to invest in anything other than residential property, "it may in fact be they are able to include a purchase of a $5m-plus property as part of that application".

"It’s still new money coming into the country but it might not be the tsunami of overseas wealth people were hoping it was going to be."