We were interested to hear that the investor migrant policy is changing with effect from 25 July 2011. Residential property will be an "acceptable investment" for migrants relying on the ‘investor’ category to seek residency in NZ. The migrant’s own house will not be an acceptable investment. Investment will need to be made in new developments on new or existing sites that increase the housing stock available for New Zealanders to reside in.
This scheme means overseas investors looking for residency in NZ can now consider funding residential subdivisions or undertaking their own residential developments. This could plug the funding gap left by (nearly) all the mezzanine finance disappearing from the property development market.
Further information is expected from Immigration New Zealand in late June. Safeguards are being developed. The Overseas Investment Act criteria will still control investment in sensitive land. No doubt the safeguards are about what control, if any, will be imposed on non-sensitive land under the OIA and how to ensure these are investments that benefit New Zealand. If anyone is interested in this area please let us know, we will be following it closely.