Land Information NZ releases the full 2016 data on the questions it asked people when they bought, sold or transferred real estate. The data also reveals Auckland results

Land Information NZ releases the full 2016 data on the questions it asked people when they bought, sold or transferred real estate. The data also reveals Auckland results

Content sourced from the LINZ website.

As a result of the Land Transfer Amendment Act, we collect tax-related data when people buy, sell or transfer property. The legislation also requires us to ask questions that help inform housing policy. This information is collected through a tax statement.

The information provided on each tax statement is confidential to the buyers and sellers, and to Inland Revenue, so may only be released by us in a summarised form. 

We will publish quarterly reports summarising the data.

Information on the size or value of the property being transferred is not included in this report as this is not collected in the tax statements. While the data contains tax residency information, this is not the same as nationality and this is not a register of foreign ownership of residential or other property.

Key figures 2016

Quarter Jan-Mar 2016 Apr-Jun 2016 July-Sept 2016 Oct-Dec 2016
Overall number of Transfers 45,114 57,678 53,991 50,814
Number and Percentage of transfers involving overseas tax resident buyers (incl trusts, companies and businesses as well as individuals) 1,158
Number and percentage of transfers involving overseas tax resident sellers (incl trusts, companies and businesses as well as individuals) 1,062
Number and percentage of Auckland transfers involving overseas tax resident buyers (incl trusts, companies and businesses as well as individuals) 474

LINZ also asked home buyers and sellers whether they or their immediate families were work or student visa holders and, if so, if they intended to live on their land. 

The results to this question are inaccurate and should not be used as 48% of those who answered as if they held a work or student visa, also claimed the main home exemption (that is only available to New Zealand citizens and residents).

We have made improvements to the way we gather this information, and will have precise information on transfers involving work or student visa holders in the report covering January to March 2017.

For transparency, we have shared the results we do have as well as more information on this in the appendix of the latest report.

This information was sourced from here and was released on February 23, 2017.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


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But how many NZ registered companies are just a front for overseas investors? The report indicates large numbers of corporates buying houses and land, but no indication of who is behind those purchases.

The land transfer tax statement instructions and guidelines address this situation and if a person or company intentionally files a false statement they are subject to a serious fine. Here are the details -


So still not clearly measuring actual foreign buyers including those on short term and student visas.

Another thing that's in the government's "too hard to measure" basket (where hard equates to inconvenient).

Well they do say that they will have precise info on this for the first quarter of 2017. Better late than never I suppose. Lets hope that it doesn't just rely upon people correctly filling out a survey form.

Also keeping in mind it's going to be post China cracking down on capital outflows, something even specuverstors have said is slowing down auctions in Auckland.

Yes now that the Capital Flight restrictions are now in place, of course the Foreign Buyer results will be much lower at the moment. Possibly even the 3% that our Government keep claiming.

Though still no explanation as to what's caused the current Auckland property sales drop, funny it happened in December when the overseas restrictions came in to full force.

It's just a coincidence that year on year sales in Auckland in January decreased by 30%. It's also a coincidence that the number of houses for sale in Auckland have increased dramatically. A coincidence that back to back sales within a week seem to have stopped. That is if you believe in coincidences.

Could it be that back to back sales are a quick smart way to do money laundering?

John Key & Co: "Nothing to see here folks."

For nine damn years.

I'm doing just fine, everyone I know are benefiting and doing just fine..... alot of other hard working NZers as per the polls hope they continue to stay in charge. Auckland is not NZ you know??

Well, jolly good, I guess the next generations of Kiwis should just put up with everything because you're doing okay. That's what the old folks in Auckland are telling them too - knuckle down and pay us rent and a pension we don't need.

I don't live in Auckland im 28 just bought a house with my wife after 7 years in the work force. Used my Kiwisaver, it wasn't easy but its definatley achievable. I couldnt afford to buy in Auckland but i bet if we lived and worked there we would be in the exact same position. By my friends all doing okay i mean they are not in poverty, Builders, Sparkies, plumbers office admins, teachers etc all have plenty of work and all getting into their first homes. Im sick of people like you who harp on like everyone should get an easy ride. When my children are my age I hope they will have no issue finding their first home. Its nothing to do with price its all about attitude.

The social bubble you live in is not reflective of New Zealand as a whole. Bragging here isn't helpful for those who haven't been extended the same privileges as you.

So glad that you're doing well bgballz. I agree with your statement especially the bit that all your mates are doing ok in Auckland, and it just proves that hardwork will eventually pay off. No-one should get an easy free ride to property ownership...only those who grit their teeth and strive for success will get there - look at what you have achieved! Well done matey :-)

I'm doing all right too, thanks. I make a good income and can move anywhere in the world, such is the demand.

But the difference between you and I is that I know it matters what others face, and I know that there are facts when it comes to the maths of the housing equations young Kiwis face today. Maths and price to income ratios for the average Kiwi (who may make less than you or I) make a massive difference.

No one is asking for an easy ride.

"All about attitude"is bollocks. If you can't see beyond your own nose or appreciate what New Zealand society has provided you (and thus your obligation to pass the good on) then you need to check your sense of entitlement and get real. If the current generations keep on the selfish way - so different from that of the post war generations who provided for them - don't expect your kids to have a decent chance.

And, honest question - if the solution is "Move out of Auckland", are you suggesting that the young generations of Kiwis should cede Auckland to whomever the new owners are to be?

I guess, well, yeah...New Zealand can give it's biggest city over to foreign ownership or such like. Apparently the rich of the world are on the lookout for boltholes at the moment. If only the very wealthy paid tax like the middle classes do.

bgballsz - not a self-licking icecream cone (babyboomer) are you by chance?

As above. Ill tell you another thing, there will be no pension when im 65 (40 odd years) and im ok with that. Have a more positive outlook and things will start to turn around for you. Cheers.

Thanks - glad you're doing well.

I used to think that Kiwisaver was set up for everything other than buying homes. Did I contribute to your Kiwisaver account in any way .

Yep your taxes would contribute to the governments contribution to Kiwi saver. I would pay more than that in tax on my Kiwisaver PIE income though. It is hard to use the government contribution to purchase your first home though there are alot of strict parameters like a price ceiling and number of years contributing. Personally I think the reason there is such high demand for houses is because people have been forced to save through kiwisaver and as a result more people are in positions to purchase their first home than before.

Do you really believe that?

If it was the case that it was all about FHB's, don't you think home ownership rates would be going up not down?

Holy cow, people will believe anything if they tell themselves the story enough times

I think you need to have a look at what a pension delivers to society, and once done that, fight tooth and nail to retain it. It is things like pensions that allow us to get out of having to breed numerous children to care for us in our dotage, the only way you can amass enough to provide for yourself is that there remains several others who cannot.
It is a numbers game, and by the time you reach retirement age, we will have had to seriously consider or even by then, have introduced, a universal basic income. Think how robotics and technology will work in the future, will they serve to enrich a few or will they serve the whole country, perhaps world.

Nine damn years of pulling...........ponytails
How ever were the NZ voters fooled for a 3rd term ?

Sorry Dictator but that's pure BS! Sales decline happen for a reason not just a coincidence!

Here's the history lesson yet again. Oct 2015 to January 2016 Auckland prices dropped -10% WHY?????

New IRD regulations meant that FOREIGN INVESTORS HAD TO REGISTER with the IRD. That locked them out of our housing market for a few months during the registration process. As soon as that was completed they carried on spending and gobbling up Auckland property.

And guess what those same investors and now locked out again by their own Government due to Capital Flight and that's why Aucklands sales have dropped. WHAT A COINCIDENCE - Dumb Kiwis won't be able to work that one out will they!


"Well they do say that they will have precise info on this for the first quarter of 2017"...I smell a rat. Why would they suddenly have this information now? A friend of mine works for a large tertiary educational institution that has huge numbers of foreign students and he said that there has been a massive decrease in the number of student visas being approved by Immigration NZ since the beginning of the year. Along with capital flight restrictions it maybe that the data will be more palatable for the public...after the horse has bolted.

Nothing surprises as National government stands for Denial, Manipulation and Lie and if nothing works pass the blame to all but themselves.


Isn't it a moot point now?

I mean when you are letting in 70,000 immigrants a year who can buy a house on day 1 in the country with their funding often flowing from those countries - isn't the effect pretty much the same?

We need to decide what sort of country we want NZ to be and then look at how healthy, beneficial, targeted immigration plays a part in this.

I think foreign buyers are an issue worth considering separately, in addition to overall migrant volumes.

The Vancouver example demonstrates that havoc that money stashed in property in a city can play with locals who actually want to grow up and work and live there.

Migrant volumes obviously do need to be considered too.

mvg etc The J Key govt decided for NZ what sort of country by allowing virtual open door migration.
All to provide cheap labour & inflate Nats property holding values
so cynical

If its not overseas buyers then its a bubble, if it is overseas buyers then it's still a bubble.

It is very obvious, immigrants are buying the houses, not the overseas buyers.

They can only do that if they're able to get funding from abroad. We live in the age of 'Astronaut Families' where the primary wage earner will live and work overseas and place their family; usually wife, parents and kids in to the host country. This was happening quite a lot in Canada and I know that it's also been happening here.

Oh and by the way, you can't get that kind of funding from the UK (And probably Europe as a whole). I know because I tried to and after the GFC in 2008 the first thing that the banks withdrew was Overseas Property funding.


It is a joke.

As many overseas buyer come on short term visa or register a company (So get IRD number) to speculate so this type of data (To suit current government) will never give the correct picture and it suits current national government.

Is this the definition applied all over world for non resident foreign buyer or is a a person who is not a citizen and non permanent resident - a foreign buyer.

Someone has rightly said that this government has a policy of denial, lie and manipulation but the question is for How long. Election soon.

They will win again the opposition is a joke. Until someone can get their act together and offer palatable and popular alternatives nothing will change. Look at the bits and pieces that would have to be put together for a change of government that would be embarrassing!

National's advertising to that end did very well last time round - seems to have swayed people well.

Foreign sites have rated Labour's housing policies pretty highly.

It depends how bad National lets things get. If their ineffectiveness on housing et al bites this year, they could well find they're out the door.

At least it would get in place a government that places limits on the the great sell-out of New Zealand out from under young Kiwis.

Labour say they (taxpayer) are going to build 100,000 homes and will import more people to build them. The ponzi scheme just carries on.
Nationals latest head in the sand extravaganza is cleaning up the rivers. They doubled the allowable ecoli which is how they judge a rivers safety for swimming. Our rivers just became 100% cleaner. Yay!! National cleaned our rivers, we can swim in them again.
And they are our 2 main political parties. housing prices doubled under Labour and have doubled again under National. As our export earnings decline and we have run out of power stations to sell, it would seem both parties just want to keep selling off our low population statistic and our land and businesses to bring in foreign currency. They call it investment. The ticking time bomb is the huge deficit of infrastructure that this population growth has created.
Population Growth is changing our lifestyle and is tomorrows financial problem.

Never-ending story ....
Bring in migrant builders and tradesmen to build houses for migrants and off-shore players



Ok . so this is the correct definition and data for overseas buyer so can we also have the data for Non Resident as well (Who are not citizen and PR) just for comparison and get the real picture.

If 4% are the people who are sitting overseas and buying property with no interest in NZ is also wrong and high as even this 4% can play havoc in property market (Need one property to sell at absurd price and willbecome a benchmark for the estate agent) .

Though the actual Data of non resident is much much higher. What happened to Labour ..... where are they and why silent.

My vote for anyone who admits that the current national government is manipulating and promise to come out with correct data as no one like lies and being manipulated - which this national government has become master in and for this very reason have to go.

Wonder why did we ever voted them in the first place but than to err is human and can be corrected.

They are probably not saying much because the last time they tried to find a way to demonstrate what was going on, they just got accused of xenophobia and the sheeples bought into it

FYI, under the Land Transfer Tax Statement, if a person is a tax resident in a jurisdiction other than New Zealand it does not mean that they are a foreigner. They could be a New Zealander residing in Australia or other country or a New Zealander who lives in New Zealand and remains a tax resident in another country like the US.

How many transfers involve businesses?
Approximately 24 percent of residential property transfers between 1 October and 31
December 2016 involved corporate buyers.

Remember a lot of these overseas tax persons are also NZ citizens I Guess?


I have said it once, and I will say it again.

How many non-citizens are buying property?

How they complicate something simple

You are a recent migrant or visa worker or student visa holder
You are not a lawyer
Go and have a look at the
Notes for the main home non-notifiable reason
and work your way through that

Oh for goodness sake :-). Purposefully designed to confuse, surely.


Even though the results leave plenty of loopholes to disguise the real figures, let's dissect what is given:

In 3 months a net 183 houses sold to Chinese tax residents (purchases less sales).

Annualised that: 732 homes.

For arguments sake, say approximately 500,000 homes in Auckland.

Hence approximately a net 1 in 700 homes transfer to non resident Chinese in one year.

At that rate, in 10 years, 1 in 70 homes are owned by non resident Chinese. In 20 years, 1 in 35 homes.

How long has this been going on for? At least 10 years already, maybe 20? How many homes currently owned by non resident Chinese 1 in 50? Who knows? But at this rate of acquisition it is having a clear impact - let alone if the net purchase figure is actually much higher...

National party's gonna need to change its name to The People's Party

Chris_J appreciate the fact that you took the time to read the report. Obviously lots can be read into the data , and one report does not give the full picture. My only remarks would be that in an age of rapid data collection,where there is software to dissect the DNA genome, New Zealand' lacks 'the competency to produce the software necessary to collate mundane real estate data. My second point, would be that Australians , ( they being foreign ) were big net sellers in the last 6 months .Thirdly, with extrapolation , stated Chinese involvement , on a net basis throughout New Zealand is the same . However for the 6 month stated period 71 percent of all Chinese purchases were made in the Auckland region. Whether this is in part due to eventual migration , is another debate in itself. My last point would be , economics have played no role in the rapid rise of Auckland house prices.

Soon will have to change the name of NEW ZEALAND to............

If not than have to vote out national.

Well National tried that move by changing the flag, the should have included a ' $ ' sign on it!

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