This is not the time to buy property in NZ for international buyers. The public deficit is at a high point, and the government is targeting conspicuous consumption or largess as the basis for future tax receipts. So its really an addendum to the GST, which has just increased; except this tax will apply to the wealthy. This is mostly going to entail luxury sales taxes, extra property taxes on holiday houses, etc. The family home I suspect will not be touched, however there many well be an attempt to target high-value homes. i.e. Tax-free sales below $250K.
The implication of these decisions of course is that anyone sitting on luxury items like houses or yachts looks like facing a tax. The implication is that '2nd properties' are going to be entering the market. You would tend to expect most of these properties to be in the rural areas, as well as places like Wanaka, Queenstown, Wanganui, Nelson, Blenheim and the various fishing and ski resort areas. The 'bach' has long been a simply of NZ's affinity with lifestyle. It just got that little bit harder to 'live the life' in a country with a stilted domestic economy.
The best buying opportunities is likely to be in those slower demand centres like Wanganui, and even places like Napier. Tourist locations more than residential growth zones like the cities. The best opportunity is likely to be in 1-2 years, as this will correspond to:
1. A slight rise in global interest rates - given the high levels of consumer indebtedness I don't see governments willing to allow foreclosures to blow out, and NZ will benefit from high commodity prices.
2. A short term problem of high deficit placing pressure on the AUD
3. The offloading of all these properties.
4. The population decline in some rural areas means that they are likely to feature more strongly as sales opportunities. We must remember that rural areas will benefit from strong commodity prices, so the effect will be short-lived. Already there is a lot of rural 'bachs' on the market in anticipation of such taxes. Of course not everyone will sell. Some can afford the lifestyle, some use their city home as superannuation money, and their bach is the 'retirement home'; and others might rent the bach out in the off-season as a trade off.
I would be looking for the rural residential market to fall over the next year years; I'd expect the NZD to fall to a low against the AUD in 2 years given stronger outlook for food prices rather than metals; and by then NZ will have taken some steps to resolve its deficit. In 10 years, NZ will probably have a few more oil discoveries, and it will then become the land of milk and honey.
The problem of course is that John Key is doing very little to curtail the drain on the economy by taxing those who actually earn their way in the economy. There is too much parasitism in NZ, and governments are always reluctant to target them. Why? It requires an education policy, and they cannot think. Taxation requires the creativity of squirrel which collects nuts, and the roar of a lion which threatens to steal your nuts when you do something wrong. At least I know how to talk to the parasites. But I want to also tell them that its not their fault. The rich has enabled the poor and government to perpetrate this crime against humanity by not developing their critical thinking capacities. We will be driven towards fascism - not by the collectivist looking to plunder the wealth of the rich - but by the wealthy who thinks they can escape the powers of government. They will catch up with you eventually - and they will do it by paying off consultants to track you down. That's rich the private sector is being used to undermine the private sector. So your message - either develop some intellectual integrity or OBEY!