Property Transfer Statistics

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Property transfer statistics summarise the citizenship or visa status and tax residency of buyers and sellers of homes and land in New Zealand.


Property transfer statistics are used to monitor tax obligations, and inform housing policy.

Citation Information


Property Transfer Statistics

Alternate Title

Property transfers and tax residency data; Land transfer tax statements; PTS


Statistics New Zealand


Statistics New Zealand


Statistics New Zealand

Coverage Information

Temporal Coverage

  • 2013-10 to 2015-09
  • 2015-10 to 2016-09
  • 2016-10 to present

Topical Coverage

  • Dwellings
  • Land
  • Specified estate in land
  • Overseas people

Related Resources


3) Quarterly

Significant events impacting this study series

1 January 2020

The main home exemption was removed and a new version of the land transfer tax statement introduced. Previously, many New Zealand citizens and resident-visa holders were exempt from stating their tax residency when buying or selling their main home.

The removal of the main home exemption is only partly reflected from the March 2020 quarter property transfer statistics as home transfers may occur weeks or months after the transfer was entered into.

Land transfer tax statements FAQs has more detail

Statistics about the visa or citizenship status of buyers and sellers are not affected by this change as people transferring their main home were already required to supply this information.

22 October 2018

The Overseas Investment Amendment Act 2018 came into effect on 22 October 2018. Discussion about changes began in late 2017. For further information see Overseas Investment Amendment Act 2018

7 June 2018

Stats NZ began publishing Property transfer statistics. Previously they were published by Land Information New Zealand as 'Property transfers and tax residency'.

Changes introduced by Stats NZ include:

  • time series to make comparisons over time easier
  • detailed statistics about transfers involving homes
  • statistics for regions
  • quarterly breakdowns and four annual breakdowns for all statistics (previously, most statistics were published only for quarters, and the remainder were published only for six-monthly periods)
  • revising the statistics each quarter if improved information becomes available (for example due to an amended land transfer tax statement)
  • recalculating all historical statistics.

12 December 2016

A new version of the land transfer tax statement was introduced.

The new statement gathers improved information about the affiliation (citizenship or visa status) of buyers and sellers. Previous information gathered about affiliation was not suitable for producing statistics.

For a while, both versions of the tax statement were being used. Therefore, statistics about the affiliation of buyers and sellers began in the December 2016 quarter, but didn’t reach near 100-percent coverage until the September 2017 quarter.

The new statement allows up to four tax residences to be entered into Landonline for each buyer and seller who is not a New Zealand tax resident. Previously only one could be entered. This may have resulted in an increase in the number of transfers involving certain countries of tax residency. However, usually fewer than 50 transfers each quarter involve a buyer or seller who reports multiple tax residences (as at March 2018).

1 October 2015

The Land Transfer Act 1952 was amended to require most buyers and sellers of property to complete a tax statement. Buyers and sellers who entered into a contract before 1 October 2015 were not required to complete a land transfer tax statement, provided the transfer was registered by 1 April 2016. Therefore, statistics about the tax residency of buyers and sellers began in the December 2015 quarter, but didn’t reach near-100 percent coverage until the June 2016 quarter.

Usage and limitations of the data

Property transfer statistics depend on the accuracy of land transfer tax statements submitted by buyers and sellers (and recorded in Landonline by conveyancers).

They are used to monitor the purchase of land and homes by overseas people (for example as defined in the Overseas Investment Act 2005). However, there are cases where the purchase of property by an overseas person will not be reflected in the statistics, for example:

  • An overseas person could still be a New Zealand tax resident.
  • A company could be owned or controlled by an overseas person.
  • A resident visa holder is considered an overseas person under the Overseas Investment Act if they are not ordinarily resident.

Not all transfers involve a sale. Land Information New Zealand estimates that approximately half of all property transfers involve a residential sale. The other half includes a very wide range of activities such as deceased estates, trustee changes, marriage settlements, boundary changes, changes to the proportions of shares of ownership, as well as sales involving non-residential property.

The quarter a transfer is counted in the statistics reflects the date registration of the transfer was completed (not the contract date, lodgement date, or settlement date).

Property transfer statistics do not include information about the value or selling price of properties.

The statistics do not include a breakdown by land type (eg residential or farm). However, they include a breakdown based on whether at least one buyer and seller stated there is a home on the land. For buyers with student or work visa holders, there is also information about whether they intend to live on the land.

Main users of the data

Inland Revenue; Land Information New Zealand; Treasury; Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; Reserve Bank; media

Revision Information

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