Moving to Australia from New Zealand?

Get all information you need to make a successful and stress-free move across the ditch.

Need a mortgage to buy your new home in Australia? Then you need Australia’s Online Mortgage Broker.

Are you a New Zealander thinking about buying property in Australia? Getting a mortgage in Australia isn’t always easy and trusting someone to get you the best deal possible is important.

UNO home loans, Australia’s Online Mortgage Broker combines Unparalleled Service with technology to streamline the entire process of getting and having a mortgage so you save time, hassle and money for the entire time you have a home loan.

Firstly, can New Zealand citizens buy property in Australia?

As a New Zealander, you are able to buy property in Australia. Whether investing in Australian property from New Zealand or buying a new home in Australia after you’ve already moved, both are possible.

Please have a read of my buying a house in Australia post for a thorough breakdown of everything you need to know about buying property in Australia as a New Zealander.

What this post covers:

Getting an Australian mortgage

There are a lot of factors to consider as a New Zealander wanting to get a mortgage in a country you have just moved to (or want to move to)…

  • Do you want to buy before you leave New Zealand, so you have a home to move into?
  • Do you have a deposit?
  • Can you service a home loan?
  • Do you already have a job in Australia?
  • Who will give an you expat loan?
  • Which banks have the most competitive home loans?

You are going to need advice from professionals at some stage, and more importantly, their help to get you the best deal for your individual circumstances.

I highly recommend using UNO Australia’s Online Mortgage Broker. They combine Unparalleled Service with technology to streamline the entire process of getting and having a home loan so you save time, hassle and money for the entire time you have a home loan.


UNO helps time-poor customers who want a highly streamlined process that reduces their effort with high-quality expertise that reduces their stress and gets them a better financial outcome.

UNO know all the ins and outs of the different Australian banks, their policies and calculations, saving you hours of wasted loan applications trying to find a lender that will give you a mortgage.

Read more about UNO Home Loans below.

UNO’s quick home loan questionnaire

Want to know if you are likely to get a loan right now? The below questionnaire will ask you a few questions to establish your next best move towards buying property in Australia as a New Zealand citizen.

You will be asked about your residence status, where you currently live, what your plans are, how much you plan on spending on your new home, your deposit amount, and your income, help calculate your loan-to-income ratio (LIR) and point you in the right direction.

You can complete this questionnaire in less than 2 minutes, with no obligation and as many times as you like…

 

How much deposit do you need?

There is no industry standard for deposits in Australia. Most lenders require you to show savings for at least 10% of the property’s value. Some only require 5%. If you want to buy a house worth $700,000, this equates to a deposit between $35,000 and $70,000.

There are usually additional costs including stamp duty, lender’s mortgage insurance and conveyancing fees.

If you have KiwiSaver, you may be able to use some of your savings towards your deposit. Have a read of my KiwiSaver and First Home Super Saver (FHSS) post. 

What about interest rates?

The good news, is New Zealanders on an SCV get the same interest rate as Australian citizens. The key is to find the best rate. I recommend getting help from a trusted mortgage broker, as your individual circumstances will dictate what deals are available to you. 

Stamp Duty

Australian state governments charge stamp duty tax on property purchases. It is normally around 3% but varies from state to state.

Here’s an example… The stamp duty on an established home worth $650,000, which you plan to live in as a first home buyer, is $22,251 in Queensland and $29,148 in New South Wales. These amounts change often and are subject to the applicant’s circumstances.


First-home buyers in Australia qualify for stamp duty concessions in some states, pending certain criteria. Typically there are house value thresholds for exemptions and the home needs owner-occupied for at least twelve months.

New Zealander citizens purchasing their first home in Australia usually qualify for these concessions. However, you can’t have owned a home in New Zealand or Australia.

Each state has their own specific rules.  For example, in New South Wales NZ citizens need to reside in Australia for at least 200 continuous days within 12 months to qualify for an exemption. 

Read more about stamp duty and the stamp duty waiver here

First Home Owner Grant

NZ citizens are considered permanent residents and are therefore eligible for the Australian Government’s First Home Owner Grant (FHOG). The grant varies between $10,000 – $30,000 depending on the state you are buying in.

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) scheme was introduced on 1 July 2000 to offset the effect of the GST on home ownership. It is a national scheme funded by the states and territories and administered under their own legislation.

Under the scheme, a one-off grant is payable to first homeowners that satisfy all the eligibility criteria. You can read more about this in my are New Zealand citizens eligible for Australia’s First Home Owners Grant post.

Your mortgage broker can help assess your eligibility for any grants, including the FHOG. Any property you have owned or still own does not impact your eligibility for the FHOG.

Read more in my First Home Owner Grant post

Getting a mortgage for a property in Australia (already moved)

Buying property in Australia is probably easier and quicker than you think. It could even save you thousands of dollars when you compare the cost of a short-term rental against buying. 

A step-by-step guide to buying property to live in within Australia

  1. Land a job – the first step is to start your new job in Australia and receive your first payslip. Banks are going to need this.
  2. Estimate your borrowing power – find out how much you can borrow based on your income, expenses and credit card limits. This will give you a budget for your property. A mortgage broker can help you calculate your borrowing power.
  3. Find the best deal – once you know how much you can borrow, I recommend using a mortgage broker to help you find the best deal for your individual circumstances. It will save you a lot of time and stress.
  4. Submit payslips and seek pre-approval – you don’t need to wait 3-6 months, submit your first payslip. Lenders can oversee a gap between employers provided your jobs are within the same industry.
  5. Make an offer on your new Australian home and settle within 45 days.


I do highly recommend using a trusted mortgage broker instead of going to your local bank. In New Zealand, our local bank is our first stop when wanting to get a mortgage. This is not the same in Australia. Read more about Australian mortgage brokers below. 

Buying property in Australia from New Zealand

For New Zealanders wanting to purchase a property in Australia, while still residing in NZ, there are extra costs you need to take into consideration. You are able to invest in property in Australia from NZ or buy your new home ahead of moving to Australia so it’s ready for you to move into, but you will need to pay stamp duty and additional foreign duty.

This is because our Special Category Visa (SCV) isn’t granted until we process through Australian border control, which means we don’t have an Australian Visa and need to pay the foreign transfer duty. Our SCV is also taken off us as soon as we leave. 

Foreign Transfer Duty

New Zealanders buying property from outside Australia need to pay Foreign Transfer Duty, which is 7-8% depending on which state the purchase is made in. For example, the foreign duty on a $700,000 home in Queensland is $49,000, bringing the total cost up to $749,000 excluding stamp duty.

Foreign duty varies by each state. There is no foreign duty in the Northern Territory. 

Getting a mortgage while being a foreign investor

Australian lenders often won’t consider New Zealanders for investment loans. You will need to find the perfect match for your individual circumstances. This is where your mortgage broker comes in. They will need to find lenders who specialise in mortgages for Kiwi investors buying property in Australia. If they do their job properly, your repayments may even be similar to Australian rates.

It is easier for New Zealanders to invest in Australian property compared to other countries because you will not need approval from the Foreign Investor Review Board (FIRB). You can even invest in existing property or land, unlike other foreign citizens.

An exception applies for those on a Subclass 461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa, who will need to seek approval from the FIRB.


You will need to find a lender who will approve a mortgage for a foreign citizen and that can help you release the equity in your NZ home. 

A step-by-step guide to buying Australian property from New Zealand

  1. Estimate your borrowing power – determine how much you can borrow based on your income, expenses and credit card limits. This will give you a budget for your property. A mortgage broker can help you calculate your borrowing power.
  2. Find a lender – you will need the help of a mortgage broker to find an Australian lender who specialises in lending to NZ citizens living in New Zealand.
  3. Submit payslips and seek pre-approval – submit your payslips and if you have a property in New Zealand, get help to release the equity.
  4. Search for properties – remember to calculate the additional costs of stamp duty and the 7-8% foreign duty.
  5. Make an offer and settle.

Australian Property Taxes

There are other taxes that may be payable on property held by a foreign investor, including Capital Gains Tax and Non-Resident Withholding Tax.

Capital Gains tax is a tax on the profits acquired from the sale of an asset including real estate. The rate is dependent on your income.

Foreign resident capital gains withholding (FRCGW) is payable on the sale of a property valued over $750,000. The tax rate is 12.5%.

An accountant or tax agent can help you navigate any additional property taxes. 

About UNO

UNO Home Loans is Australia’s Online Mortgage Broker. They have brokers all across Australia who are able to help you buy your first home, buy your next home, buy an investment property or refinance your home loan.

Their Online Mortgage Brokers are supported by their customer care team. They make your home loan application process easier and faster. Their loanScore technology is the only mortgage technology to have ever received a Good Design Award but it is their commitment to delivering Unparalleled Service that sets them apart.

They welcome the opportunity to build a long-term relationship with you.

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Why choose UNO?

UNO provides a streamlined process for their customers and reduces their stress in the mortgage application process.

Firstly, they provide easy-to-use online tools and resources such as a mortgage calculator and online application forms that can make the process faster and more convenient for customers.

Secondly, having a dedicated customer care team that is easily accessible through different channels such as phone, email or chat can help customers get their questions answered quickly and accurately without having to wait on hold.


In addition to these measures, UNO can also simplify the mortgage application process by offering a range of loan options that are tailored to the customer’s needs and financial situation. Providing clear and transparent information about rates, fees and terms can help customers make informed decisions about their mortgage choices.

Overall, by reducing the effort and stress of the mortgage application process and providing high-quality expertise, UNO can deliver a better financial outcome for their customers. 

What makes a UNO broker better?

  1. Here for the long haul
    A UNO broker has partnered with UNO to build long-term business relationships to support their customers, you. This ensures the broker you deal with today is there tomorrow.
  2. Fully supported end to end
    UNO runs the entire support and customer care program for their brokers ensuring consistently delivered, unparalleled service. It’s why their Net Promoter Score® (NPS) is so high.
  3. Powered by technology
    UNO’s founder Vincent Turner is a veteran of the mortgage industry and built technology used by 90% of banks. UNO’s technology is unrivalled in the industry.

Independent reviews for UNO

Product Review has UNO at 4.8 from 342 reviews, with 310 reviews being 5 stars (February 2023):

Source: https://www.productreview.com.au/listings/uno-home-loans

Can UNO help you now?

This depends on what stage you are at in your moving to Australia process, exactly when you want to buy, what deposit and income you have and proof that you can service a home loan.

UNO already know that you will have different requirements than their Australian customers. They know that you are either living in NZ currently or have just moved to Australia. You won’t have all the right paperwork that the banks/lenders want and they are ready to help you through the home loan process. 

UNO’s quick home loan questionnaire

Want to know if you are likely to get a loan right now? The below questionnaire will ask you a few questions to establish your next best move towards buying property in Australia as a New Zealand citizen.

You will be asked about your residence status, where you currently live, what your plans are, how much you plan on spending on your new home, your deposit amount, and your income, help calculate your loan to income ratio (LIR) and point you in the right direction.


You can complete this questionnaire in less than 2 minutes, with no obligation and as many times as you like…

 

UNO – committed to delivering Unparalleled Service

It’s easy to say you have unparalleled service, but UNO can prove they have, which is why I partnered with them…

A brief history of UNO

UNO started life back in 2016 when they set out to reimagine how mortgage broking could work.

The founder, Vincent Turner, had built software for mortgage brokers and banks and it was clear that the market was ready for online mortgage broking. UNO was not the first online mortgage broker service, but they were online from day one. They went on to invest millions of dollars in iterating their online platform in the early days, while always understanding that customers want help with their home loan from experts, and that service was critical.

Over the following years, the category continued to grow and with covid in 2020, the acceptance by customers of online generally for service based businesses became the norm.

In late 2020 after 5 years of building UNO, it started to become clear that the areas where online mortgage brokers were competing (price, technology, ease) were becoming tables stakes and to stand out they needed to reconsider their strategy.

A change in strategy

What a lot of people don’t understand is that all mortgage brokers (online or not) are essentially dealing with the same set of lenders. The idea that one broker has access to better pricing than another is basically a falsehood and with the emergence of online lenders in some cases the ‘best rate’ will be with a lender who won’t work with brokers at all.

Around this time UNO decided that their customers, whilst wanting a great deal (of course, who doesn’t? ), really wanted great service.

At this time they decided that to truly stand out UNO needed to deliver what they termed Unparalleled Service. They made being Australia’s Online Mortgage Broker, without compromising on service, their number one objective, but how would they measure this?

UNO, like plenty of other brokers, already used 3rd party rating & reviews platforms like Product Review or Google to get ratings but most people don’t understand that these platforms tend to show companies in a better light than what they are as you only send your best customers there to give you a review.

No one gets a customer who had an issue and says ‘please leave us a review on Google’.

Introducing Net Promoter Score

The gold standard for truly understanding customer satisfaction is Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is globally recognised, you can read more about NPS here if you like.

Early in 2021, they implemented an automated NPS measure at 4 key moments in our customer journey, asking EVERY customer the standardised NPS question:

‘Would you recommend us to a friend or family member?’


As somewhat expected our NPS was pretty average, not much better than the banks who (surprise surprise) have some of the lowest NPS scores around.

Over the next 15 months, they took every bit of feedback (piped in real time to our management team and founder) and refined their service. UNO made hundreds of small changes to their service, process, communications and behaviours and this was the result.

NPS, as a measure of whether they are delivering Unparalleled Service to their customers, continues to be our true north.

UNO doesn’t claim to be the first or largest Online Mortgage Broker, they only care about what our customers care about which is:

‘Are you providing me with the best possible service?’

Using the globally recognised measure of Net Promoter Score (NPS) UNO remains focused on building the best Online Mortgage Broker in Australia.

You might be interested in…

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Still, got unanswered questions?

If you’ve read the above content and the answer to your question isn’t there, please write a comment below and I’ll research the answer for you. Please note, if the answer to your question is in the content above, I will not reply. Sorry, I just get too many questions these days and I can’t keep up.

Is there something else you want to know about?

If you need advice on moving to Australia from New Zealand, I’ve created a helpful little questionnaire to point you in the right direction. It takes less than 30 seconds, so give it a go!

12 Comments

  1. Shiv

    May 1, 2024 at 12:07 am

    Is it possible to transfer kiwisaver and use against the bank loan.

    What if the property in Australia has already been purchased but didn’t use kiwisaver at that time..Now wish to transfer kiwisaver to reduce the loan and Lmi..is this possible??

    Reply
  2. Andy

    August 30, 2023 at 10:52 am

    Hi, just reading through your documents and wondering about using super funds for my first home loan in Australia. Would you be able to give me some advice on who to contact? I went to mortgage brokers and they didn’t know anything about it.
    Thank you

    Reply
  3. Georgia

    June 29, 2023 at 10:50 am

    Hi there,

    Your website has been very helpful, thank you.

    My family are looking at moving to WA at the start of 2024 and would like to buy a property straight away once there (we will sell our property in NZ before we go and use that money as a deposit). I was just wondering in order to get a mortgage, obviously bank statements will be required. Do you know if NZ bank statements will be okay to use as we would only have very limited bank statements in Aus if we are buying straight away?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      July 17, 2023 at 1:56 pm

      Hi Georgia,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Yes, you will be able to use your NZ bank statements when trying to prove that you can service your new Australian mortgage.
      Having all the right paperwork can be hard when you move country, which was a real motivator in setting up this website, as you need companies (my partners) who understand the position you are in and make it possible for you to get the service without the usual ID documents, e.g. opening an Australian bank account, new utility services and getting an Australian mortgage.
      Hope the above helps.

      Reply
  4. Leiana Rei

    June 16, 2022 at 12:36 pm

    Hi JJ,
    Just wanted to THANKYOU for this site as it has made me aware of what to expect and plan for…FANTASTIC!! Thankyou and I loved talking to Vincent from UNO, he was super informative, chilled out, patient and onto it.
    I really appreciate having found your site!
    Thankyou!
    Leiana

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      June 16, 2022 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Leiana,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your positive experience with me and the other visitors.
      I agree Vincent is fantastic! He is great to talk to and is a wealth of information and experience.
      The technology he has created is very impressive, which is why I’m happy to promote him on my site. UNO home loans are always analyzing the Australia home loan market and making sure their customers have the best deal available to them. Which NZ bank or mortgage broker does that?
      Good luck with your property purchase and please let me know if there is anything further I can help you with.

      Reply
  5. Jose

    May 11, 2022 at 6:08 am

    Hi JJ,

    First of all, thank you very much for building such an amazing website with very useful information and easy navigation. It’s much appreciated. We’re doing all the research necessary to relocate from New Zealand to Perth. I will continue working for my current employer but base in Perth. We will rent an AirBnB while looking for a house to buy or maybe considering build a new one. My question is related to the home loans and the bank requirements. I’m a NZ citizen and we would have enough for a good deposit on the new house but I read online that banks won’t give us a loan if I don’t have a payslip with an address from Australia. I’m sure I’m not the only one lucky enough to go with a job when arriving to Perth. I can ask my employer for a letter to show my continuity of service or change the address on my payslip to an address in Perth? Can you provide some information on this?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      May 11, 2022 at 10:34 pm

      Hi Jose,
      Thank you for your comment. This question is exactly why I had to find a mortgage broker to help me.
      I believe a employment contract would be as good as a payslip, but you would need to talk directly to your mortgage broker about this.
      Changing the address to a Perth address would go a long way with the banks.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  6. Robyn Batt

    April 8, 2022 at 3:22 am

    If I want to buy a house in Australia and rent it out until we are ready to move to Australia in a couple of years. I would like to open a bank account so the tenant can put the rent money in as an automatic payment. We have cash to buy the house outright. The bank account would be in Australia. Hope you are able to give me some advice, thanks, Robyn.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      May 5, 2022 at 1:41 am

      Hi Robyn,
      Thanks for your comment and sorry for the delay in replying.
      To open an Australian bank account you need to physically visit a branch in Australia to prove your ID and tax residency details (IRD number for tax residency in NZ and TFN number if you have/had one, if you’ve previously lived in Australia).
      Regarding purchasing a property in Australia, do you have a plan for this?
      I am currently researching the best way for New Zealand cash buyers to purchase property in Australia, either from NZ or after they arrive. You might find this post helpful, as I did: https://www.gra.co.nz/services/investing-in-australia-from-new-zealand.
      I will be in touch if I find anything else that I think could be helpful and could you please let me know if you have any advice for visitors in a similar position to you.
      Thanks

      Reply

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