Moving to Australia from New Zealand?

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

Are you a New Zealander wanting to buy a house in Australia?

Yes, you can! If you’re an NZ citizen buying property in Australia, everything works the same as if you were an Australian citizen buying property in Australia. You may even be eligible for the first homeowner’s grant.

However, if you are not an NZ citizen, depending on your visa and residence status, there are some restrictions for foreigners wanting to buy property in Australia.

Find below some advice on buying your dream home in Australia and some smart tips to avoid paying more than you need in fees and charges.

Surcharge purchaser duty law change in NSW

It was previously identified that citizens of New Zealand were not subject to surcharge purchaser duty due to international tax treaties.

Changes to federal law means that these citizens may now need to pay surcharge purchaser duty if they enter into an agreement to purchase residential property in NSW on or after 8 April 2024.

To be exempt you must have been in Australia for at least 200 days within 12 months before the date of the contract.

Read more in my surcharge purchaser duty law change post.

Please note: I am not a financial adviser, accountant, mortgage broker, or property specialist. I have collated all the information in this post online. Please get financial advice from a specialist if needed.

KiwiSaver and First Home Super Saver (FHSS)

Use your KiwiSaver towards your home deposit for your first Australian home! First Super and First Home Super Saver (FHSS) – lets you withdraw some of your KiwiSaver for the deposit for your Australian first home. Read more here.

In this post you will find helpful information on:

Can foreigners buy property in Australia?

Yes, you can do so as an NZ citizen living in Australia with an SCV.

As an NZ citizen living in Australia, you are treated as an Australian citizen when it comes to buying a home. You can get a mortgage at the same rate and are eligible for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) and a possible stamp duty waiver.

There are some restrictions if you are a non-resident, e.g., an NZ citizen not already living in Australia (who hasn’t processed through border control and received your SCV). Non-residents must get approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) before buying a property. The house must be your primary residence and for you as a home. This does not apply to NZ citizens living in Australia.

If you don’t intend to live there full time or buy several properties in Australia as an investment, they must be new-build properties. These laws are designed to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of new housing stock across the country.

However, if you want to purchase property in NSW, you must have been living in Australia for at least 200 days within 12 months before the contract date to be exempt from the 8% surcharge purchaser duty on top of any transfer duty. Read more in my surcharge purchaser duty law change post.

Buying property in Australia from New Zealand

Do you want to purchase a home in Australia from New Zealand so it’s ready for you to move into when you arrive? Yes, you can, but there is extra tax to pay, and you will need some help… 

Foreign Buyer

If you are purchasing property in Australia from NZ, you are considered a foreign buyer and must pay a stamp duty surcharge of 7% to 8% (varies from state to state).

Property purchases in the Northern Territory, the ACT, or Tasmania are exempt from foreign buyer stamp duty.

The rule is that if you are a New Zealand citizen residing in Australia and hold a special category visa (SCV) under the Migration Act 1958 (which most New Zealanders do), then additional foreign taxes will not be payable.

If you are a New Zealand citizen residing in New Zealand and enter into a contract to purchase land in Australia, you will not be a holder of an SCV and must pay the additional surcharge of 7% to 8%.

If your plan is to take a plane trip to sign the contract and avoid paying the duty, think again! AFAD will also apply if the evidence indicates that the purpose of entry into Australia is to avoid paying AFAD by obtaining an SCV.

Therefore, you are required to get approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) before purchasing a property, be prepared for the additional 7-8% tax, and are generally only allowed to purchase new dwellings or off-plan properties, such as apartments and houses, that have not yet been lived in. Vacant land that can be developed is also permitted to be purchased as a non-resident.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) offers online services for foreign investors to manage their obligations regarding Australian investments.

In addition to the application form, which can be found using the above link, you’ll be required to pay an application fee that is dependent on the cost of the new property or vacant land you want to buy.

Once submitted, it generally takes less than 30 days for your application to be approved or declined. 

The process of buying a property in Australia from NZ

While I wasn’t able to find the process online, UNO home loans explained to buy property in Australia, engaging mortgage and conveyancing services was fundamental.

When buying property, the sale-to-settlement process can quickly become complicated and overwhelming. Conveyancers save you time and money, taking care of important legal documents such as contracts and site visits so you can quickly and easily move into your new home.

There are different ways to go about this, but this is one way. Before approaching the companies below, ensure you’ve researched what type of home you want and how much it will cost.

The process to buy property in Australia from NZ:

  1. Get your team organised – you are going to need a conveyancer or lawyer, insurer and mortgage broker or bank.
  2. Get pre-approved for an ex-pat loan – it’s important to confirm your finances and get pre-approval before you get serious about a property.
  3. Make sure you meet FIRB qualification criteria as a non-resident investor and that you are prepared to pay their application fees when ready.
  4. Find the home you want to buy – you’re going to have to rely on online research.
  5. Get a property inspection done – since you can’t visit the property yourself, you need someone else to inspect and research it thoroughly so you can make informed decisions.
  6. Negotiate the best purchase price for the method of the sale being used – the home might be going to auction or tender, but a conveyancer can approach the real estate agent on behalf and negotiate directly with them.
  7. Check over the sale and purchase agreement – you can use a conveyancer or lawyer to do this. Make sure you know exactly what you are agreeing to.
  8. Sign the agreement from NZ and plan for settlement day – organise a pre-settlement inspection and make sure your finances and insurance are in order.

We recommend the companies below. They have excellent independent reviews, so you can trust their team, charges, and processes. 

Get an ex-pat mortgage

If you want to buy a home in Australia while still living in New Zealand, you will need to get an expat mortgage. This is one of the harder home loans to get.

Getting a home loan depends on several factors, including your household income, country of residence, deposit amount, and whether your circumstances fit into different bank policies. All banks in Australia have different policies and calculations they use to evaluate a loan application.

This is where UNO comes in! What UNO does for you is look at your individual circumstances, work out which banks would most likely give you a loan, and then approach them for you.

UNO proactively look after customers’ largest household expense, their mortgage and or /home loan. Using loan score technology, UNO analyses your mortgage to save you time and money wherever possible. As experienced brokers, their job is to negotiate the mortgage best deal on your behalf.

UNO prides itself on matching customers to the right home loans across their growing panel of 20 lenders whether you are purchasing a property or refinancing. Plus, they’re specialists in helping New Zealand citizens to buy Australian property whether based locally or in Australia so they’re familiar with the process and how they can best serve your needs.

Find out if you’re eligible for an Australia ex-pat mortgage

Do you want to know if you’re eligible to buy a property in Australia from NZ? Do you want to move straight into your own home in Australia?

Simply complete this 2 min questionnaire and find out. No obligation and you can complete it as many times as you like and learn along the way…

Or read my Australian mortgage post and find out more about UNO and how they can help you. 

Hire a conveyancer

Conveyancers take the complicated out of the property so you can save time and money where it matters most.

From contract reviews through to order searches and title transferral, conveyancers take care of the complicated side of buying and selling so you can buy with confidence and peace of mind. Whether you are buying property in Australia from NZ or while living there.

While conveyancers can help you with an array of services, here are some of the most common:

  • Improve the contract – before you sign the contract for your new home place, it’s good to engage a conveyancer to review the contract on your behalf. Conveyancers will identify any hidden clauses or issues that might cause you problems in the future while adding any important amendments to your contract. Conveyancers will also arrange for your contract to be signed and finalised so you can navigate the sale to the settlement process in a quick and uncomplicated way.
  • Get the best deal – as experienced legal professionals with extensive industry knowledge about property law, conveyancers will help to negotiate the best possible settlement for you. They will also explain crucial details and information about your home that you might have otherwise overlooked so you can make an educated and informed purchase.
  • Don’t get stuck with debt – one of the biggest risks with buying property is the fact that potential for debt associated with a property to be transferred to you as the new owner. Conveyancers will make sure there is no outstanding debt so you can settle without any hidden costs incurred later down the track.
  • Get an expert opinion – Buying a property might be the largest financial and emotional investment of your life which is why it’s a great idea to engage in a building and pest inspection before settlement. 

From moisture contamination to construction issues and termites, a building and pest report offers you a professional, expert opinion on your property so you can buy with peace of mind. Saving you money and time later down the track, undertaking a building and pest inspection ensures you’re making an informed and educated purchase.

The above companies will make buying a home in Australia from NZ a reality!

Home Price Guide

When you are buying a home it’s important to do your research. In terms of getting comprehensive comparative sales information, it’s hard to go past the Home Price Guide, available from Australian Property Monitors (APM), a joint venture between HWW Limited, the publishers of Your Mortgage Magazine, and John Fairfax & Sons.

The Home Price Guide list sales details of individual residential properties. Each standard guide lists monitored sales in the previous 12 months in the postcode of your choice. If the property you are purchasing is in the database, you can see how much the current owners paid for it, whether it has been put to auction since it was purchased, and in some cases what the highest bid at an auction was. 

What deposit will I have to pay?

Your deposit amount will vary depending on if you are living in NZ or Australia. If you are living in NZ your deposit will be approx 30%. If you have moved over and are living in Australia you should be able to buy a property with only a 5% deposit. If you are living elsewhere it’s pretty difficult to buy a property in Australia as it’s considered non-resident lending.

Banks in Australia can’t lend on property in New Zealand, so if you have an existing property in NZ you want to leverage off, you’re going to have to talk to your NZ bank or a mortgage broker in NZ. Read more below.

Do New Zealanders have to pay a higher interest rate?

No. If you are a New Zealand citizen living in NZ or Australia your interest rates will be the same as the open market, e.g. the same as if you were an Australian citizen. 

First Home Owners Grant (FHOG)

The First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) in Australia is designed to encourage and assist home ownership across the country, and for eligible borrowers, it’s a great start to life as a property owner.

The grant differs in each state and territory and in most places it applies to new homes only and is valued between $7,000-$26,000.

The Australian government’s First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) and other benefits are available to permanent residents as if they are citizens of Australia. Because NZ citizens are considered to be permanent residents of Australia they are eligible for the grant.

FHOG does not take into consideration NZ property, only property you’ve owned in Australia.

Read more in my Are New Zealand citizens eligible for Australia’s First Home Owners Grant? post.


Getting a mortgage in Australia

Getting a mortgage in Australia is pretty similar to New Zealand. You will need to figure out how much you can borrow based on your income and expenses. You will need a deposit, which is usually a minimum of 5 per cent of the value of the property. You also need to pay for stamp duty on the property, which will cost several thousands of dollars, depending on which state you live in.

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…

Or read my Australian mortgage post and find out more about UNO and how they can help you.

Financial institutions in Australia will usually check your credit rating in New Zealand. If you are not sure where you stand, you can get a free copy of your credit file from Equifax:

What documents do you need to apply for a loan?

In order to get your application processed in the quickest time frame possible, it is important to have all your paperwork ready. You’ll need:

  • Bank statement
  • Payslips
  • Meet identification requirements

Read more about identity checks and what identity requirements you will need to meet:

Accessing the equity of your property in NZ

If you own a property in NZ and want to leverage off that. You need to get your NZ bank to release the equity in your NZ property (refinance your mortgage) so it can then be used as a deposit for your property in Australia.

Australian banks are unable to lend off New Zealand property. Even though we have similar banks in both countries, their systems are completely different and they don’t talk to each other. So you are going to have to apply for a loan in NZ and a loan in Australia to be able to leverage the equity.

Can I use my NZ KiwiSaver to buy a house in Australia?

Yes, you can! There is quite a history with this, but once again New Zealanders moving to Australia are able to transfer their KiwiSaver to Australia and use some of it as a deposit for their first home. You must meet the criteria set out by the ATO and make sure you set up the right account with the right super fund provider.

The ATO says ‘If you transfer an amount into an Australian super fund from a KiwiSaver scheme, the amount will be an eligible contribution (except for certain amounts)’.  There is no requirement for you to be an Australian citizen, Australian resident or an Australian resident for taxation purposes for the FHSS.

Find out what the ‘certain amounts’ are, what super fund provider you need to register with, what you need to know about the First Home Super Saver (FHSS), the KiwiSaver to super fund transfer process and how to withdraw $15,000 to use as your first home deposit in Australia (up to $50,000) in my KiwiSaver and First Home Super Saver (FHSS) post. 

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is a tax on a property transaction that is charged by each state and territory and goes straight to the state government. The amounts can and do vary. The stamp duty rate will depend on factors such as the value of the property if it is your primary residence and your residency status.

You can calculate the stamp duty you may have to pay on your property using this stamp Duty Calculator:

Stamp Duty Waiver

First homeowners, purchasing for the first time in Australia will more than likely be eligible for a stamp duty waiver. However, it will take into account if you own or have owned any property anywhere including New Zealand. So if you do own, or have owned a property previously, then you won’t be eligible for the stamp duty waiver.

There are different purchase amounts that need to be adhered to depending on the state you are buying in, e.g. in Queensland if you purchase a home for $500,000 or less you will pay no stamp duty. If you are purchasing a property between $500,000 and $550,000 you get a discount.

Stamp duty varies from state to state. You can read more about the stamp duty in the state you are planning to move to and its exemptions and concessions here:

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

If you own an asset overseas, you may have to pay Australian tax when you sell the asset. You need to keep appropriate records.

If you acquired an overseas asset before you became an Australian resident, you are taken to have acquired the asset at the time you became a resident.

Similarly, if you stop being an Australian resident while holding an overseas asset, you are deemed to have disposed of that asset at the time you stop being a resident.

To accurately calculate the capital gain or loss, ensure you keep a record of the value of your asset at these times. This is a complex area of tax law, and exemptions may apply.

Therefore, if you plan on renting your home while settling in Australia, you must pay CGT when you sell it. If you sold it before you left, you wouldn’t.

However, your accountant can make you a temporary resident for tax purposes, which would make you exempt from tax on your overseas income. Read more here:

Calculating your CGT

If you sold assets during the year, such as property or shares, you need to work out your capital gain or loss for each asset. You pay tax on your net capital gains.

You can use the CGT calculator on the Australia Government ATO website. 

Transferring your money to Australia

Find out how to get the best foreign exchange rate and save on fees.

If you already own a home in New Zealand and are planning on selling it and buying in Australia, then educating yourself on foreign exchange is a must. The same goes for transferring any money from NZ to Australia. Why throw away your hard-earned cash?

To give you an idea of how much you could save, XE has compared three major banks in New Zealand for a $1,200,000 NZD / AUD transfer. XE would have saved you between $9,070 and $25,870, depending on which bank you use.


**This comparison was made on 21.08.17 by speaking to the foreign exchange teams at 3 of the leading banks.

You will save a lot of money by using an online foreign exchange company to exchange your NZ Dollars for Australian Dollars and then deposit them in your Australian bank account. Banks will charge you a great deal to convert and transfer your money.

Find out more about using an online foreign exchange company and how online money transfer works.

Where to search for your new home

Of course, you can start looking for your new home from NZ. The below websites are the top real estate sites in Australia:

You might also be interested in…

The below posts might interest you:

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.

Can I help you find something else?

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!


  1. Santhi

    July 5, 2024 at 3:13 pm

    Hi JJ,
    I recently moved to Brisbane and I’m a NZ citizen. I have a question regarding capital gains tax I rent my house in NZ before moving Brisbane question is if i sell the house in NZ now and buy the house in Brisbane do i need to pay the capital gains here?


    • JJ Smith

      July 22, 2024 at 5:58 pm

      Hi Santhi,
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry for the delay, I’ve been on holiday with my family.
      Please note, I am not an accountant or financial adviser. I can only advise from information I have been able to find online. I recommend you contact a professional for further advice.
      As you would have read in my buying a house in Australia post, if you are an Australian resident for tax purposes and you sell an overseas asset, you may have to pay Australian tax when you sell the asset.
      If you own NZ property and become an Australian resident for tax purposes, you are taken to have acquired the asset at the time you became a resident. So when you arrived in Australia.
      In the period you have lived in Australia, has your asset increased in value or decreased? If it is more – you have capital gain, less – you have a capital loss.
      You pay tax on your net capital gains. This is:
      – your total capital gains
      – less any capital losses
      – less any discount you are entitled to on your gains.
      There is a capital gains tax (CGT) discount of 50% for Australian resident individuals who own an asset for 12 months or more (if you have lived in Australia for more than a year). This means you pay tax on only half the net capital gain on that asset.
      Some assets are exempt from CGT, such as your home.
      Read more on the ATO’s website, calculating your CGT. This article breaks down the process into steps:
      If you need further help after calculating your CGT on the ATO’s website, I can recommend an accountant who specializes in the area and can advise you on your individual circumstances.
      Hope the above helps.

  2. G

    June 16, 2024 at 7:59 pm

    Where did the paying CGT come from. I came to Aus in 2002 and still kept my house in NZ I sold it in 2003 and transferred the money over here. No penalty or even asked where it came from. I was living with an Aussie citizen who was in the hospitality business. We sold the business in 2003 and bought a house. We sold that house in 2008 and went travelling in a caravan.. We bought another house in 2010 and sold it in 2017 and bought another house which we still live in.
    We have never paid 1 cent of CGT in any of the transactions. as business had a mortgage so we didnt make a profit after paying that off. You dont pay CGT on the family home in most states. But you do on a second house if you sell one..
    I went on the age pension in Feb 2009 and received a part pension from NZ and rest from AUS we were over the threshold for a short time but the way it works is this. If you sell a house as a pensioner you have 12 months to buy another one without penalty. After 12 months if new house is cheaper than the sold price of prev one any profit is judged as income and affects your pension. If cost is more than old price pension could rise.. Fines, car rego and labour costs are more than in NZ but prices on the comparison site are incorrect. A loaf of bread is about $4. 2 L of milk is under $6

  3. Lily Chapman

    May 22, 2024 at 5:06 pm

    My husband and I thinking of moving to Brisbane next year. Can we buy a property while we are still in NZ, if so, do we pay any other tax besides stamp duty tax when buying ? Thanks

    • JJ Smith

      May 27, 2024 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Lily,
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry for the delay in replying.
      If you purchase property in Australia from NZ, you will need to pay the 7% Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty (AFAD).
      The rule is that if you are a New Zealand citizen residing in Australia and hold a special category visa (SCV) under the Migration Act 1958 (which most New Zealanders’ do), then Additional Foreign acquirer duty ( AFAD) will not be payable.
      If you are a New Zealand citizen residing in New Zealand and enter into a contract to purchase land in Queensland, you will not be a holder of an SCV and, therefore, must pay AFAD.
      If your plan is to take a plane trip to sign the contract and avoid paying the duty, think again! AFAD will also apply if the evidence indicates that the purpose of entry into Australia is to avoid paying AFAD by obtaining a SCV.
      You can visit the above website for more information.
      If you want to go ahead and purchase property in Australia from NZ, then I recommend you contact Rodney a buyer’s agent in Queensland. He will be able to help you through the purchase process. You can find more information on him in my Australia Buyers Agents post:
      Hope the above helps.

  4. RWR

    April 10, 2024 at 12:34 pm

    Hi JJ,

    We’re house hunting and just received this from our conveyancer.
    I’ve asked the question if it will impact us, waiting for an answer, I just hope this doesn’t impact us.

    “Treasury Laws Amendment (Foreign Investment) Bill 2024 Update
    The following advisory was received from Revenue NSW at 6pm yesterday evening:

    The Federal Treasury Laws Amendment (Foreign Investment) Bill 2024 has now received assent.

    It was previously identified that citizens of New Zealand, Finland, Germany, India, Japan, Norway, South Africa and Switzerland were not subject to surcharge purchaser duty due to international tax treaties.

    Changes to federal legislation mean that these citizens may now be liable for surcharge purchaser duty if they enter into an agreement to acquire residential property in NSW on or after Monday 8 April 2024.

    Surcharge land tax may also be payable on future land tax assessments for residential land they own in NSW.

    Revenue NSW and Client Service Providers (CSPs) are updating their systems to accommodate these changes. Contracts dated on or before 7 April 2024 may be processed in EDR as normal.”

    • JJ Smith

      April 12, 2024 at 1:32 pm

      Hi RWR,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I haven’t been able to find anything online to back up the change to make New Zealand citizens living in Australia on an SCV foreign buyers.
      That could be because the law change is so new, but I’m sure it would be press as it is a massive change for a lot of kiwis living in Australia.
      Can you please let me know how you get on and I’ll be in touch if I find anything.

  5. Darryl

    March 31, 2024 at 12:33 pm

    Great information provided! I am a NZ citizen living in Japan – I will be looking to purchase in Melbourne shortly. I assume I am ok pay the deposit from Japan, but on final settlement, must be in Australia to avoid the foreign stamp duty – is that correct? Also, after settlement, am I ok to go back to Japan for 2 months to wind things down before coming back to Australia?

    • JJ Smith

      April 4, 2024 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Darryl,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Unfortunately, I am not a financial adviser or lawyer and cannot advise you. However, I believe you are right.
      You should be able to find and sign a property sale and purchase from Japan, but you will need someone in Australia to inspect and negotiate on your behalf.
      I recommend you hire an Australian conveyancer who can advise you correctly, especially if you are planning on going through the whole process of finding, inspecting, and negotiating from Japan. You will need their services anyway: have excellent reviews:
      I believe you are fine to return to Japan after settlement as long as you do not rent it out.
      Please let me know if I am wrong with any of the above advice. As I have not come across this particular situation before.

  6. John

    March 17, 2024 at 12:45 am

    hi there
    We’re looking at purchasing a property in Sydney and I’ve read that NZ citizens are exempt from stamp duty provided they live in Australia for 200 days. Is this correct and if so how does this work? Does it mean 200 days straight? If I have to return to NZ temporarily before the 200 days are up, will I then become liable for the stamp duty?
    many thanks

    • JJ Smith

      March 18, 2024 at 4:38 pm

      Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment.
      The NSW government offers a First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme (FHBAS). This entitles you to a full stamp duty exemption if your first home purchase is:
      – a new home under $800,000
      – an existing home under $650,000
      – or land that costs less than $400,000
      There are also some concessions for properties that exceed these limits.
      You can read more about the First Home Buyer Assistance scheme on the NSW Revenue website:
      Here’s a good post on NSW stamp duty:
      Regarding the 200-day exemption condition, you must satisfy one of the following:
      – Residing in Australia for 200 days within the 12 months before signing the contract (paying the deposit and signing the contract). This does not need to be continuous; you can travel within and outside Australia during this time.
      – Residing in the property for 200 continuous days within 12 months after signing the contract. This must be continuous. It is calculated from the contract signing date, not from settlement, so it does not apply to cases where property purchase plans change unexpectedly.
      You can work out how much stamp duty you will need to pay using stamp duty calculator:
      Hope the above helps you get an accurate stamp duty amount.

  7. Paula Tilson

    March 8, 2024 at 12:01 pm


    How do you sign your new Australian home loan documents from NZ? We are using ANZ. Which is no help as the OZ vs NZ banks don’t talk to one another.
    We have an OZ mortgage broker but this process doesn’t seem straight forward. Thanks.

    • JJ Smith

      March 11, 2024 at 11:02 am

      Hi Paula,
      Are you purchasing a Australian home from NZ? This makes you foreign buyer and either your lawyer or conveyancer will be able to advise you on signing your sale and purchase agreement.
      Unfortunately, I am not a lawyer, financial adviser, etc, and cannot advise you on the exact purchase process, as it is different depending who you are using to help you purchase your new home in Australia.
      Here is what I have been able to find out about the process of buying a property in Australia from NZ:
      Sorry I cannot be of more help. I know UNO would be able to help you if they are your Australian mortgage broker.
      Good luck!

  8. Kam

    February 2, 2024 at 8:54 pm

    This website has been so helpful in planning our move, I did have a questions regarding purchasing and not being a foreign buyer. Currently I am a Duel citizen but my partner is just a NZ citizen, I was just wondering if you think the below plan would still mean we need approval before purchasing.
    We would be selling our house here and using the deposit plus savings for Australia, once we are unconditional the plan would be to go to Melbourne and move in with family and begin the house search. No utilities will be in our name as it will be with family, and we would also travel back to NZ to complete settlement here and tie of a few things before we settle on the Australian property (will be back before Australian settlement). As we will have confirmation from family and some of our stuff will already be in Australia, would we still class as foreign buyers (since we will be in the country on settlement.
    Sorry if there is alot of information or confusion, we are just thinking of possibilities and obviously don’t want to pay anymore than we need to. (stamp tax is enough haha)
    Thank you in advance for your help 🙂

    • JJ Smith

      February 7, 2024 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Kam,
      Unfortunately I am not a financial adviser and can’t really advise you on your situation.
      All I can say, is that if your partner is in Australia upon purchasing an Australian property, then they will have an SCV and will not be a foreign buyer.
      If you have to travel back to NZ but return for settlement, then you should not have a problem as I know people who have done this.
      If you want confirmation on the above or help getting an Australian mortgage, I do recommended UNO Home Loans, as they not only understand the laws for New Zealanders moving to Australia, they also strive to get you the best possible home loan. They are all over the Australian government schemes too, so may be able to save you money. Read more here:
      Hope the above helps.

  9. Rob Hallie

    February 2, 2024 at 10:25 am

    Good Morning. Thank you for your very helpful information, you have gone to a lot of trouble to provide this platform. I need your advice. I have a business in Auckland which I will sell in 2025. I intend to semi retire in Mount Maunganui where I will purchase a property. I also have a daughter in Broadbeach on the Gold Coast and I wish to spend time with her and purchase an apartment there also. I intend to spend up to 6 months in Australia and 6 months in NZ. The plan is to spend our winter over there and the other 6 months place the apartment under management to rent out the apartment while back in NZ. I have heard some horror stories about getting taxed over there if you do not live there full time. Should I be aware of any issues that could crop up. Thank you in advance for your help with this, Really appreciate it. Regards Rob

    • JJ Smith

      February 2, 2024 at 2:10 pm

      Hi Rob,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      I get this question quite often. Unfortunately I am not an accountant or financial adviser and can only recommend from information I have been able to find online.
      However, I know an accountant in Australia and I have asked him the question. I will get back to you one I have got a reply.
      From what I know your best option will be mainly residing in NZ and being a “temporary resident” in Australia. Temporary residents are generally exempt from tax on their overseas income. However, you need to have an accountant that knows how this works.
      Someone who also may be able to help you is Rob who is an Australia buyers agent. You can read more about his service and how to contact him here:
      JJ Smith

  10. Tracey

    January 26, 2024 at 10:00 pm

    Hi JJ

    Thanks for the excellent article. My husband and I have been living in Melbourne for a few years, we are wanting to purchase our first place and will look to live in it for 12 months as will will use the FHBG but we may then rent it out and look to purchase a family home. My question is, if we eventually decided to head back to NZ at some stage to live, could we still keep these property’s rented out without needing to sell them? Would we incur any extra taxes every year we were back living in NZ and would we have to pay any taxes if we one day sold those houses, and how much would that be? We would like to think we could hold onto them until close to retirement age and then sell. Your advice would be amazing, thank you!

    • JJ Smith

      February 8, 2024 at 12:43 pm

      Hi Tracey,
      Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delay to reply.
      This is the first time I’ve been asked this.
      The interesting thing is that when you move back to NZ, you will not be an Australian resident for tax purposes, so I’ not sure what taxes you will be required to pay, or how it will affect your CGT.
      Unfortunately I am not an accountant or a financial adviser, so I can’t really help, but here is what I’ve been able to find online.
      Here is a article from the IRD on selling overseas property:
      Yes we have a double tax agreement with Australia, but I’m not sure how that affect CGT.
      From the research I’ve done, CGT in Australia sux and if you aren’t living there, you will have to pay all of it. So any price increase your home properties make, you will be paying part of that to the Australia government.
      Have a read of this article – Sell Your Australian Property While Overseas or Come Back?:
      It might be worth selling your Australia properties when the time comes and investing in NZ property if you don’t plan on moving back.
      You will definitely need to get advice from your tax advisor.

  11. Farid Masood

    January 19, 2024 at 9:14 pm

    I have read very useful comments here which somewhat answered some of my queries, however my situation is that I am NZ citizen working overseas in Qatar. So

    1) Can I buy home in Brisbane (less than $500K, and for the settlement date come to Brisbane for a week or two (on SCV visa). Will in this case I be paying any stamp duty and Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty?

    2) Will the house I buy be considered investment property considering I will be moving back to Qatar in a week or two but in future after couple of years may return back?

    3)Can I nominate the house as first home/owner occupied even though it will be rented after two weeks when I move back? and Can I be considered as non-resident for tax purposes with first home in Aus while working overseas for years ?

    I will really appreciate any input or point me in the right direction to clarify these.

    Farid Masood

    • JJ Smith

      February 15, 2024 at 11:04 am

      Hi Farid,
      Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delay in replying.
      Unfortunately I am not a financial adviser and can only give advice from the information I have been able to find online.
      From the information you have given me, it does look like you could be a foreign buyer who has to pay stamp duty and I don’t think as a non-resident you would get approval, because the house must be for yourself as a home and be your primary residence.
      The house would be considered an investment property and you will not be able to nominate it as a first home/owner occupied, because you plan on renting it out.
      I only advise I can give you is to contact Rodney a buyer’s agent in Queensland and ask his professional opinion, as he might know of a way you can purchase in Australia while only visiting for two weeks:
      Sorry I couldn’t give you more hopeful advise.
      Good luck!

  12. Andy

    November 20, 2023 at 7:31 am

    Hi JJ Smith,
    I looked on the Victoria government website and they said only Au citizens and Au PR are eligible for FOCG, we will relocate to Melbourne in Jan 2024 and wanna check how you can get grant FOCG, like do we need to apply for it before buying a house or when we buy or build a house, the mortgage broker can help us? If we apply FOCG, does it take long?

    • JJ Smith

      November 20, 2023 at 7:02 pm

      Hi Andy,
      I know a lot of New Zealanders on SCV’s who have got the FHOG.
      New Zealanders holding a special category visa under s32 of the Migration Act 1958 and anyone holding a permanent visa under s30(1), are considered to be a permanent resident of Australia. To be eligible, NZ citizens must be in Australia at the time of settlement. Source:
      UNO would be able to help you, as they have researched all property ownership criteria for New Zealanders living in Australia on an SCV.
      In the majority of cases, your mortgage broker or bank that is providing your finance will lodge the FHOG application form on your behalf.
      Here the link to the State Revenue Office Victoria website, which helps you check your eligibility, outlines everything you will need and how to apply:
      Hope the above helps.

  13. Sar

    October 10, 2023 at 11:43 am

    Hi JJ, this site is amazing – thank you for doing all of this! I’m already living in Melbourne with my Husband and two Daughters, originally from Christchurch. My parents are moving to Victoria in March and are asking me all sorts of questions so i’ve directed them to this site, which is so helpful! The only question I can’t seem to answer for my Dad is about whether they can purchase a home in Victoria straight away once they have moved here, say in the first few weeks (once all they finance etc. is sorted) is there a certain amount of time they have to be living in Victoria before they can purchase a home? I can’t seem to find anything VIC..
    Thank you 🙂

    • JJ Smith

      October 10, 2023 at 3:17 pm

      Hi Sar,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Your parents can buy a home in Melbourne as soon as they have processed through border control and obtained an SCV. Until they have an SCV they are a foreign investor.
      I’m glad my website has been able to answer a lot of your parents questions. Please let me know if there is anything else you can’t find the answer to.
      I highly recommend they transfer their money through XE rather than the banks, as it will save them a lot on fees and get them a more favorable exchange rate. They can also talk to someone at XE if they have any concerns, after they have registered.
      Happy house hunting.

  14. Curtis

    September 17, 2023 at 7:36 pm

    Hi JJ,
    Firstly this website is great and extremely helpful!
    My partner and I (Both NZ Citizens residing in Aus since mid-last year) are looking at buying a property in WA, and we have stumbled across the government grant available for first-home buyers.
    The eligibility all makes sense to us, except for the 12 months of residence in the house.
    The property we are looking at is just a section, and we have no means of building right away – does the grant still apply since we won’t be living on it, but also won’t be renting it out?
    We have not owned any property in Australia, just NZ

  15. Archana

    September 7, 2023 at 12:28 pm

    Hi JJ, can you recommend a few conveyancer companies?

    • JJ Smith

      September 14, 2023 at 1:15 pm

      Hi Archana,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately, I don’t have any personal experience with Australia conveyancers, so I recommend going off online reviews:
      Hope the above helps.

    • Rohit Gupta

      October 25, 2023 at 12:47 am

      I have hired Sharney Rowe at bytherules conveyancing. Things are going well. I asked for a fixed price. She is responsive and thorough.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.