Owning properties as a foreigner in New Zealand

Owning properties as a foreigner in New Zealand

Building a legacy

The east coast of New Zealand’s North Island is largely unpopulated, framed by mountains and fringed with wild vegetation. The pristine nature of this Pacific Ocean region owes much to its rigid ownership laws, under which the majority of the land is controlled by either the local government or New Zealand’s native Maori people. Now, an Auckland-based company is selling a handful of parcels that are being developed in an appropriately respectful fashion.

“Real estate here is very uncommon,” says Jim Rohrstaff, a co-founder of the firm Legacy Partners, which is offering a limited number of building plots on 567 hectares of beachfront terrain spanning nearly 13km of coastline. “Something of this size, scale and quality has never been available before, and likely won’t ever become available again.” Plans for Te Arai began in 2011, shortly after a deal was brokered with a local Maori tribe to develop the land. Launched for sales in October, the coastal community is a low-density, environmentally sensitive project that will consist of roughly 100 homes when completed in 2018. Currently, 46 plots measuring about one to 2.8 hectares each are available, at prices from US$1.5 million (S$1.35 million) to US$2 million (S$2.72 million). The development also includes New Zealand’s first equity-based private golf club, featuring an 18-hole course designed by Tom Doak. In addition to golf, Te Arai offers outdoor endeavours from fishing, surfing and boating in the Pacific to horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking on the community’s coastal trails.

Legacy is following a similar low-impact formula for its projects in other locations throughout New Zealand. Approximately 161km up the coast from Te Arai, in the heart of the Bay of Islands, the 142-hectare Omarino community has just 17 plots, ranging from six to eight hectares and priced from about US$2.9 million to US$3.85 million. “These are phenomenal beachfront properties where significant restoration and conservation measures are taking place,” says Rohrstaff. “It is exceedingly rare for foreign buyers to be able to retain riparian rights on the ocean like this.”

Rohrstaff believes his company is offering an unmatched opportunity to own in the country. “There are few properties like this available anywhere in the developed world, especially in New Zealand.”

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