New Zealand's lack of overseas investment regulation is being promoted in Shanghai and Hong Kong to help sell apartments rising on the site of the country's best-known record store.
"NO stamp duties and property purchase tax, NO capital gains tax on residential property if sold after two years of holding," Colliers International says advertising Queens Square, a 226-unit block promoted as on "the Nanjing Road of Auckland" and to rise on Real Groovy's Queen St site near Karangahape Rd.
This country's liberal regime, unusual internationally, is being promoted in that ad for the block by New Zealand developer Robert Holden's Conrad Properties.
The new L-shaped block, to have 24 carparks and ground-level shops, is to rise at 438 Queen St and was designed by architect Colin Leuschke who says in a promotional video it will be on Auckland's golden mile.
Aaron Turnstall, Impressions Real Estate's general manager, says apartment rental demand is rising and vacancies are falling "to less than 2 per cent over the last two years".
Project marketer Hayley Sok says Conrad is New Zealand's largest apartment developer and she notes high investor demand.
While other countries impose steep charges to deter foreign investors buying houses and Australia requires them to build new houses and apartments, New Zealand stands out as having an open-door policy and the ad highlights that.
However, it does warn about the Government's new October moves to charge property speculators if they sell their properties within two years. That is a reference to the Taxation (Land Information and Offshore Persons Information) Bill, now before the finance and expenditure select committee.
That would require overseas investors buying residential property to have a New Zealand bank account and IRD number to purchase property here, giving information to Land Information NZ and IRD information and data about offshore house buyers.
But it is not clear what will happen to that information.
A spokesperson for Land Information Minister Louise Upston said last week no decisions had been taken about whether or when to release it and the information might not show what people wanted to know.
"It's worth bearing in mind that the information gathered for this new law change is going to be tax information. It will be the tax residence [of the buyer] as opposed to the country of residence of the buyer," the spokesperson said.
"It's not a foreign buyers register at all. It will give us information but we don't know if it will be made public."
Events to promote the sale of units in the block were held this month at Shanghai's New World Tower and at 300 Huaihai Rd in Hong Kong. The ad says the block could be completed by January 2018.
Barfoot & Thompson is also marketing units as being in the Auckland Grammar zone, priced from $386,000.
Agent Alastair Brown said top-priced larger units with carparks were going for $1.2 million. The block would have 226 units, 24 carparks and construction was yet to start.
See a video of the development here:
Foreign investment house buying rules overseas
• Controlled by the Foreign Investment Review Board.
• Government policy aims to increase Australia's housing
• Restricts foreign buyers to new developments of house and land, home units, townhouses.
• Capital gains tax on non-residents selling property.
• Tax can be 18-28% of the property's value.
• Regime toughened from April 6.
• 15% surcharge on purchases by non-residents.
• Foreigners must apply to buy many different types of properties.
• Regulates purchases of vacant residential land, terrace housing, semi-detached housing.