Effective from 25 July 2011, an investment of at least $1.5 million in a residential property development now qualifies as an acceptable investment for the purposes of obtaining a residence visa under the Investor Category from Immigration New Zealand.

The following conditions, however, must be met:

1. The residential property must be a new development on vacant land

2. Renovations or extensions to existing developments will not qualify

3. All regulatory approvals in terms of building consents and resource consents (where necessary) will need to be obtained. The cost of the same will not be permitted to be calculated in the total investment sum

4. The applicant must intend to make a commercial return in the open market, and

5. Family members or anyone associated with the principal investor must not reside in the residential property development.

The government has introduced residential property developments as an acceptable form of investment to jump start the construction sector in New Zealand.