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New Zealand Citizen Home Loan

This page is for New Zealand citizens or New Zealand permanent residents (PR) living in either Australia or New Zealand, who would like to apply for a mortgage to buy real estate in Australia.

Can I borrow in Australia?

The amount that you can borrow and the banks that will lend to you will vary depending on your situation:

  • Living in Australia: New Zealand citizens living in Australia can borrow up to 95% of the property value.
  • Living in NZ: Some lenders will allow you to borrow up to 90% of the property value.
  • Living in another country: You may be treated as a foreign investor and have your loan limited to 60% to 80% of the property value.
  • Mortgage discount packages: One of our lenders can offer NZ citizens and NZ permanent residents the same professional package discounts that are available to Australian citizens.

Will I pay a higher interest rate?

Some lenders charge a higher interest rate if you are not an Australian citizen. This is particularly true if you are living in NZ or another country outside of Australia.

However in most cases we can get you the same interest rates as an Australian citizen, even if you are borrowing 95% of the property value!

Please call us on +61 2 9194 1700 from overseas, on 1300 889 743 from within Australia or complete our free assessment form and one of our specialist mortgage brokers will call you to discuss your options.

Is Australian government approval required?

No, Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval is not required for those with New Zealand citizenship who have been to Australia at least once. This is because on arrival in Australia you are granted a Subclass 444 visa which means you are an Australian permanent resident.

New Zealand permanent residents (i.e. not an Australian or NZ citizen) require FIRB approval as they do not have the ability to live in Australia permanently.

Why are so many NZ citizens investing in Australia?

In October 2016, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand put a ‘speed limit’ on their banks that has reduced the number of loans they can approve for investors who have less than a 40% of the purchase price as a deposit.

As a result, NZ property investors have increasingly turned to Australia because they can still buy a property with a small deposit.

What is the Non-Resident Withholding Tax (NRWT)?

If you’re living in NZ and paying interest to someone that lives outside of NZ then you may be liable to pay additional taxes. This is a complex issue that you should discuss with your accountant.

For the purposes of investing in Australian property you either have to choose a lender who meets certain criteria so that you don’t have to pay the tax or be forced to pay the tax yourself.

If you had an interest rate of 4%, you’d effectively be paying 4.4% because of the tax. In some cases, we can choose a lender that allows you to buy with a small deposit and then refinance in 2 – 3 years to a lender that meets the criteria so you can avoid paying the additional tax.

Be careful of stamp duty!

When New Zealand citizens arrive in Australia, they are automatically granted a special visa known as a Special Category Visa (Subclass 444).

This excludes you from having to pay a stamp duty surcharge or FPAD (foreign purchase additional duty). This surcharge will vary depending on the state in which you’re buying, many states do not have a surcharge.

Be careful!

This special visa expires if you’re outside of Australia when the Department of Immigration and Border Protection completes a Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) check.

To avoid the stamp duty surcharge, it’s important that you’re in the country at the time of settlement.

Are first home benefits available?

The Australian government’s First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) and other benefits are available for permanent residents, as if they were citizens of Australia.

The Australian Department of Immigration automatically grants New Zealanders living in Australia a Special Category Visa (SCV). Because New Zealand citizens are considered to be permanent residents of Australia, they are eligible for the grant.

Please refer to your mortgage broker for information about which benefits are available in your state.

Do you need help with an Australian mortgage? Please call us on +61 2 9194 1700 from overseas, on 1300 889 743 from within Australia or complete our free assessment form and one of our Australian mortgage brokers will call you to discuss your situation.

Can I buy a home or investment property?

Your loan can be used for any kind of residential housing. This includes both a home to live in or an investment property in Australia.

You can also apply for a home loan to refinance your existing loan, release equity or build a property in Australia. Commercial mortgages are available on a case by case basis.

Am I required to buy a new property?

Other foreign citizens are required to buy a new property to comply with Australian legislation. However NZ citizens are allowed to buy vacant land and existing properties as well.

Which banks have the most competitive home loans?

Before you look at which lenders have the most competitive interest rates, you need to consider which can actually approve your mortgage!

There isn’t much point in applying if you’re only going to have your application declined and damage your credit file.

In particular, if you’re living in NZ or are borrowing over 80% of the purchase price of your property, then not every lender will approve your home loan.

For this reason we use different methodology to find you the right lender.

We know which banks have flexible lending criteria for NZ citizen customers.

This means that you may qualify for a home loan from a reputable bank and will not need to apply with specialist or non-conforming lenders.

Why do special rules apply for NZ citizens?

Some Australian banks view New Zealand citizens more favourably because our governments have joint agreements for trade, residency and legal purposes.

In addition to this, our countries share the same credit reporting system known as VedaScore via Veda Advantage.

For these reasons several banks see NZ citizens as low risk borrowers, even when compared to UK or USA citizens.

What if I am a NZ Permanent Resident?

This is more complicated as fewer banks will accept your application. It will also depend on which country you are living in at the time of application. Please contact us to discuss your situation.

What documents will I need to provide?

To find you the best lender for your situation we’ll need to obtain the full details of your situation, including supporting documents such as bank statements, payslips and identification.

We can then work out which lenders will approve your home loan, and let you choose the most suitable mortgage out of those available from these banks.

Apply for an Australian mortgage!

We are mortgage brokers who specialise in helping people without Australian citizenship to apply for loans in Australia. We know which banks can accept your application, and which offer the best interest rates for non-residents.

If you would like to buy a property in Australia and would like to know more about how we can help then please call us on +61 2 9194 1700 from overseas, on 1300 889 743 from within Australia or complete our free assessment form.

  • David McClane

    Hi, I’m living and working now in UK. My partner is a NZ citizen and we’re planning to buy a property in Australia at the end of the year. How much can we borrow and are we eligible for the first home buyers grant.

  • Hi David,

    I’ll assume you’re a UK citizen not an Australian citizen. On that basis most lenders would view you as a ‘foreign investor’ not an Australian Permanent Resident as although your partner is a NZ citizen they are currently living outside of Australia.

    You’d likely qualify to borrow 80% of the property value. Although most banks don’t lend to foreign investors we have a couple that view NZ citizens anywhere in the world the same way that they view Australian expats.

    You’d potentially qualify for a first home owners grant if you buy a new property and were planning to move in within the first year. It’s complicated and varies between states so best to ask our mortgage broker

  • Stephanie-anne Higham

    I’m a Aussie my partner is a New Zealand citizen living in Australia for the past 10 years.
    My partner has bad credit so his mum also a new Zealand citizen is coming onto the home loan with us so we get approved she lives in nz still .
    we would be buying a house and land package and currently have the full 20% deposit were trying to work out the best way to structure the home loan
    what tax is involved ?
    my partner and i would be living in the house with no plans to re sell anytime soon his mum would look at getting her name taken off the loan a few years down the track when my partners credit is better we belive this might be set up as a refinance minus his mum but in doing that will there be tax ?
    were lost at the best way to achieve what were trying to do

  • Hi Stephanie,

    Great question! With a 20% deposit I expect we can get you a good loan even if your partner has problems with their credit history. We can look at your situation and build a case. So his mum may not need to go on your loan.

    As she lives in NZ it may just complicate things and yes you are right if you buy her out later then you would need to pay stamp duty on her portion. If she owned 20% of the property and the property was worth $1,000,000 then you’d pay stamp duty on $200,000 when you bought her out later. This is consistent across all states of Australia to the best of my knowledge, however check with your conveyancer to be sure.

  • Chang Gyu Yoo

    hi there I’m a NZ citizen and my wife and I are both wanting to move to Australia and I have a house in NZ already, but we wanting to buy a brand new home. how much deposit do I need? 5%?10%? do we qualify as first home buyer in Australia? If my buys as her first home in Australia do we get any benefit? Is there off set variable mortgage available?
    thank you (both of us are NZ citizen)

  • Hi Chang,

    It depends on what state you are buying in, but you can qualify for first home benefits if both of you have never owned a home in Australia before.

    Typically as a NZ citizen living in Australia 5% as a deposit and 5% to cover costs is required. So 10% in total should be fine. If you like then complete our enquiry form and one of our mortgage brokers can do a full assessment for the state that you’re buying in https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Chang Gyu Yoo

    We wanting to buy in Melbourne/Geelong and possible Investment in Gold Coast what are the laws?

  • Yes we should be able to lend 95% for both. So indicatively you need 10% of the purchase price to complete each purchase. We’d need to consider your new jobs in Australia and if your income is sufficient as well

    Be careful with the gold coast as the high density apartments often are overpriced. https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/property-types/inner-city-units/ We tend to see a lot of them get valued at lower than the purchase price. The houses in the area tend to be fine. Just make sure you compare the value of the property to similar properties in the area https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/home-loan-articles/how-to-value-property/

  • John Lo

    Hi there, I’m NZ Citizens, me and my wife already had a houses in NZ, but we wanting to buy a brand new apartment in NSW this August, We will moving to Australia sometimes after the apartment built, it can be 1.5 years time, When should I do the pre approval please? Am I still a first home buyer over there? And is there any chance I still can borrow 80% from the banks? Thanks

  • Hi John,

    The challenge here is that most lenders cannot issue an approval until the apartment is close to completion. So you’d be signing a contract now, and we could assess your ability to borrow now, but if lending policies change or if your personal circumstances change then we may be unable to get you a home loan when the time for settlement comes. That means you’d lose your deposit.

    I’d recommend that you consider one of these options:
    – Buy an existing property rather than a new property (lower risk)
    – Buy a property that has just been completed (it’s still new, but lower risk)

    If you do buy a new property now then consider moving to Australia and getting Australian jobs before settlement as then there are many lenders that can assist.

    If you have never been to Australia then you are not an Australian permanent resident and may pay the higher stamp duty (tax) that is charged to foreign citizens, If you and your partner have visited Australia you would have been issued a special category 444 visa on arrival and would be permanent residents which would mean you are exempt from the additional duty.

    I hope that helps.

  • Stephanie-anne Higham

    Hi I’m wondering were selling a property in New zealand and want to buy land in Australia and put a house on it without a mortgage so we would be paying in full but we would remain in new zealand and my son would live in the house in Australia

    what should we expect ?
    will there be any hassles because there’s no mortgage?

    were not planing to sell the home for a very long time if ever.

  • Hi Stephanie-anne

    That should be fine as long as you have been to Australia at least once and so are permanent residents of Australia.

    Here’s some tips on building https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/home-loan-articles/construction-loan-tips/

    I’d recommend you buy an existing home in most cases like yours as construction and being overseas may be difficult.

  • anon

    Hi we are NZ citizens wanting to relocate to Sunshine Coast. We have a good deposit from our house being sold and want to buy in Australia. I am planning on getting a job there and my husband will have a job he can do from Australia but be paid out of a NZ bank account.. We currently have pre approval from a NZ bank can we use that over there?

  • wendy

    Hi, We are both kiwis. I have been living in Australia for 35 years. Been living here, owned a home here, have a business here in Adelaide.
    My partner is a kiwi and lives in Christchurch but is over here with us in Adelaide fortnightly.
    He owns property in Christchurch and has his own profitable business of 20+ years.
    Can we apply for a loan here in Adelaide to purchase a home with him still classed as a permanent resident of NZ and me of resident here in Adelaide ? We have deposit and ready to purchase sometime soon ?

  • Hi
    I’m not sure which bank you’re pre-approved with however I’ve never seen a NZ bank lend in Australia. So I expect you’d need a new pre-approval. Yes we can get you approved before you move up to 80% of the property value. More than that would be case by case. We may need evidence that your job is transferrable.

    Good luck with your move! Fill in this link and one of our brokers will complete a full assessment for you https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Hi Wendy,
    Yes we can assist with this. Some banks will not accept his business income as foreign business income is rarely accepted. So either we can use your income alone or we can apply with a bank that accepts his income. Either way you should be eligible for a great interest rate. Please call us on 1300 889 743 and we’ll complete a full assessment.

  • Kunal

    Hi me and my partner are NZ Citizens living in Auckland NZ. We are looking to buy an investment property (with view of long term capital gain) either in Melbourne or Sydney. Are we eligible for a investment property loan in AU? If yes, what would be our deposit requirement and interest rate? Thanks

  • Hi Kunal,

    Yes you would be eligible as long as you meet all other standard criteria. You can likely borrow 80% of the property value which means you need 20% as a deposit and 4% to cover purchasing costs. So around 24% of the purchase price should be fine.

    There’s several things to consider so it’s best to call us to go through it in more detail. You can call our brokers on +61 2 9194 1700 from overseas. Good luck!

    Also we can put you in touch with a buyers agent who can assist you with finding a property. They work for you not the seller and usually they get a much better deal. Just ask our broker if you’re interested.

  • Laura

    Hi,
    My partner and I are looking to purchase our first home in Brisbane. I am an Australian citizen living and working in Australia and he is a New Zealand citizen living in Australia, however he works in NZ and is paid in NZD. We are looking to purchase a home to live in. Are we able to borrow 95%?

  • Hi Laura,
    Aus paid in AUD working in Aus and NZ citizen living in Aus, working in NZ and paid in NZD should be fine to buy a home and borrow 95%. Right now QLD has increased first home benefits so if you buy or build a new property you may also be eligible for a $20,000 grant.

    Not all lenders will accept your partner’s income, the ones that do will likely only accept 80% of his income. That should be fine as rates are relatively low at the moment.

    Please call us on 1300 889 743 and we can complete a full assessment.

  • raanann

    Myself and my wife lived 12 years in new Zealand and are new Zealand citizens, we
    bought a house there which is been rented , a year ago we left
    back to Israel Where we got a house too .
    We are planning to sell this house in Israel and to buy a house in Brisbane
    and in two years’ time to move to Brisbane .

    My question is – can we get a mortgage in Australia to buy a
    house ?

    the nz house we still got a small
    mortgage in new Zealand from ANZ bank .

  • Hi Raanann
    As NZ citizens living outside of NZ or Australia, many Australian banks will see you as having few ties to Australia and so will not consider your loan. Also if your income is in Israeli new shekel (ILS) then this is not a currency that is accepted by many banks. That being said we have access to some smaller building societies and credit unions which have excellent rates and will consider lending up to 80% of the property value for someone in your situation. Please fill in our free assessment form and our mortgage brokers can complete a full assessment. Please put ‘refer to Otto’ in the comments of your enquiry and I’ll get involved as your scenario is a bit more challenging https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

    Have you been to Australia while a NZ citizen using your NZ passport? If so then you’ll have a special category 444 visa which means you will not pay the 3% additional duty that foreigners pay in QLD. If you haven’t got this visa then try to sign a contract to buy before the 1/10/16 as this is when the new tax takes effect.

    We can put you in touch with a buyers agent that can help you to buy in Brisbane, they’ve done a great job for some of our other clients. Just mention in your comments of your enquiry if you’d like our broker to send you their details.

  • Apogee

    I am a NZ Citizen moving to Melbourne to start a new job this December. I will not be selling my home in NZ but renting it out instead as I acquire a high rental income from it and the value of the (BNZ) mortgage is relatively low (15% of current value). My question is, can I utlilise the considerable capital value in my NZ property to help purchase a Melbourne residential property for me to live in? Will the Australian banks give any consideration to the value of my property in NZ? Cheers.

  • Hi Apogee,

    Yes you can use your property in NZ to fund your purchase in Australia. The best course of action is:

    1. Approach BNZ or a NZ mortgage broker now and increase your loan so that you have a deposit in Australia.
    2. Either now or when you have moved to Aus you can then buy a property in Aus using an Australian bank. We can assist you with this as it’s an area we specialise in.

    You should allow for a deposit of 25% of the purchase price of the property you would like to buy in Aus. This would allow 5% to cover costs such as stamp duty and 20% as a deposit. You can have a smaller deposit however you’d pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

    We can complete a full assessment of your situation now and make sure that there is nothing that would stop you from getting a loan once you are in Melbourne. Then we can get you a pre-approval when you’re ready to buy. https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • hannah

    Hi My MIL is 61 and living in NZ. She has lived in Australia on and off for the last 45 years. She is looking to move back and will require a mortgage. She will sell her house and require about 30% mortgage to buy on something based around $300kAUD. Is the age an issue to get a mortgage without coming over to work for a few months?

  • Hi Hannah,

    We’ll need to prove that she can repay the loan prior to retiring. It would depend on what she is doing to work, how much she has in superannuation and when she plans to retire. Some lenders consider retirement age to be 65 and some consider it to be up to 75. Personally I think it’s best to look at what your mum plans to do and to make sure that it’s feasible as that’s what really matters.

  • tracy_NZ

    Hi, i live in NZ and am a NZ citizen. i am looking to buy an apartment off the plan in Melbourne, so this will save me some stamp duty. i have been to Australia many times before, so does this mean i already have the 444 visa and won’t have to pay the extra foreign tax duty? do i physically have to be in Australia when i sign the contract or at time of settlement to avoid the foreign tax? thanks.

  • Hi Tracy,
    Yes you would have a 444 visa. My understanding is that you wouldn’t pay the tax however best for you to call the VIC State Revenue Office to double check on (+61) 3 9628 0000.
    Buying off the plan can be risky as there are lots of properties we are seeing in the Melbourne CBD which are valuing well below the purchase price. So please be careful and do your research. We know some buyers agents that can assist if you need some help.
    Also you can’t be sure that at the time of settlement that lending policies will allow NZ citizens living o/s to buy in Australia. It’s likely, but it’s a risk that you need to be aware of as lending policies change regularly.
    We’re experts in helping NZ citizens to get a loan in Australia so contact us if you’d like our help https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Alan

    Hi , I live in Australia.I am a Kiwi. I have a mortgage with Commonwealth bank. I wish to purchase a second house. I am not a permanent resident as I arrived after 2001. I would like to use equity from my first property. I work FIFO from PNG. My pay goes through Westpac into my Australian bank account. I pay normal taxes. With policies been changed by a few of the banks back in April ,in regards to lending. would I be eligible to apply for a new mortgage.The banks may require me to be a permanent resident.

  • Hi Alan,
    We have several lenders that accept FIFO income so that’s ok. As for your visa status the devil is in the detail. Some lenders policies say 444 visa holder whereas some say nz citizen. So we just need to apply with the right one. I’d expect we can find a solution for you.

  • Hi Russell,
    We specialise in lending for Australian properties, unfortunately we aren’t experts in lending policies for properties in NZ. I’d recommend that you contact a mortgage broker in NZ to assist.

  • Archana

    HI there.My husband is a New Zealand Citizen and I am a resident of NZ. Husband started working in Australia from the 18th of July 2016. I am still in New Zealand and flying to Australia on 26 October. I am qualified Accountant(CPA) . we wish to buy a house ASAP and high possibilities are I might be unemployed when we apply for a Loan. Can we progress based on our current circumstances? Thanks

  • Hi Archana,
    If your husband has a high income then you may qualify even without you being employed. However in most cases Australian house prices are so high that two incomes are needed to prove that you can afford the repayments. Once you are one day in your new job then we can get approved. https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/unusual-employment-loans/new-job-home-loan/

    You’d likely be on a New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visa (subclass 461), while your husband would be a PR with a 444 visa. This is acceptable to some of our lenders.

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  • AT

    Hi Team,

    I am an NZ citizen, want to buy an investment property what are my options? I can provide upto 20% deposit.

    Thanks – AT

  • Hi AT
    That should be fine. If your in Australia it’s quite simple, if you’re in NZ we have a few lenders that will approve your loan and give you the same rate as an Aus citizen. You can give us a call on +61 2 9194 1700 from overseas and ask for a NZ citizen specialist.

  • Sunitha Kallepu

    Hi There,

    I’m Australian Resident living in NZ. We have plan to move Australia in near future. I have question, Can i get home loan to buy house in Australia while working in New Zealand. If yes, Can any one tell me how to proceed.

    Thanks

  • Hi Sunitha,

    In most cases yes you can qualify to buy a property now. It would depend on specifically what Citizenship you hold and which visa(s) in Australia and NZ. If you’re a NZ citizen this should be fine.

  • Sunitha Kallepu

    I have Australian PR but staying in New Zealand. I would like to which banks give the home loan option

  • Yes we can help with this. Best to give us a call and we’ll complete a full assessment +61 2 9194 1700 or complete this form https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • KK S

    Hi Experts,

    I am a New Zealand citizen living and working in Hong Kong, planning to migrate to Melbourne in 2018. Can I buy a property now (2017) and rent it out before I move to Melbourne? How will be my stamp duty and tax be calculated? What are my options to offset?

  • Hi KK
    Yes you can buy now. We have a few lenders who accept NZ citizens living outside of Aus or NZ.
    You would pay a higher stamp duty as the NZ PR 444 visa expires when you leave australia so you’d be considered a non resident by the VIC government. So if you visit Australia just gor settlement day you’ll have a 444 visa and you’ll avoid the extra stamp duty.

    Allow around 4.5% of the purchase price to go in duty and other costs. We can calculate the exact amount if you call us.

    Avoid off the plan apartments in the Melbourne CBD as we’re seeing a lot of low bank valuations and overpriced units there at the moment.

  • Betty

    Hi there,
    I am a NZ citizen with a mortgage at Westpac NZ and plan to move to Melbourne next year. We are planning to keep our house in Auckland as a rental property. Will it be best to get a mortgage through Westpac in Australia too if we were to buy a property in Melbourne? Would you recommend us setting up a draw down facility before or after we leave NZ to use it for the deposit for the property in Australia? Thanks in advance :)

  • Hey Betty,

    It would be good to get a mortgage through Westpac but if another lender can offer you a better deal or be more flexible with their policies then that will likely be best. We recommend you set up a draw down facility before you leave NZ as this will make lending easier than it would if it were set up afterwards.

  • Lynne

    I am buying a house off a plan and want to apply for the First Home Loan payment. I have lived in Brisbane since 2009. What evidence do I need to verify my residency in Australia as a SCV holder?

  • Hi Lynne,
    It depends on if you apply via your mortgage broker or with the government. Usually a NZ Passport is fine for SCV evidence.

  • Adrian

    Hi There

    I am an NZ Citizen looking to buy property in Brisbane planning to move my family, Can i get home loan to buy house while working in New Zealand. with 20% deposit If yes, Can any one tell me how to proceed with it

  • Yes you can do this. There’s a few complications but we can guide you through it.. Best to fill in this form and one of our nz specialists will assist. https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/