Build to Rent housing is a new concept in New Zealand, but one that has already seen significant growth overseas.
With New Zealand in the grips of a housing crisis and in urgent need of warm, dry, healthy new rental homes, the property industry began work to kick-start New Zealand’s Build to Rent sector and transform the experience of renting in New Zealand. New Zealand’s regulatory and legal framework had not been designed with Build to Rent in mind, and urgent change was needed to get Kiwis into Build to Rent homes at scale.
Led by Property Council New Zealand, the property industry worked closely with the New Zealand Government to start to unlock the Build to Rent sector, meeting together for a roundtable summit in Parliament March 2021 and forming a Build to Rent Ministerial reference group led by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD).
Property Council New Zealand also launched numerous public awareness campaigns such as research showing the potential for 25,000 Build to Rent homes in 10 years, and the ‘Missed Opportunities Counter’.
Delighted with the Government’s decision, Property Council New Zealand and the wider industry have continued to advocate for addressing the next set of legislative constraints, namely restrictions to large scale investment due to uncertainty in the Overseas Investment Act, and the inability for depreciation of assets that other commercial and industrial buildings currently can.
Build to rent in Aotearoa New Zealand has the support of both major political parties. The Labour Party and its Minister for Housing Hon. Dr. Megan Woods sponsored legislation through Parliament in March 2023 creating a separate asset class for Build to Rent and restoring interest deductibility. Minister Woods publicly stated at Property Council New Zealand’s March 2023 conference that their Build to Rent taskforce has been “instrumental with their advice to the Government”. She also committed to meet again to discuss constraints the current Overseas Investment Act still represents.
At the same Property Council conference, the National Party Spokesperson for Housing, Chris Bishop MP, announced that if elected they would “quickly move” to introduce changes to the Overseas Investment Act and introduce depreciation for Build to Rent assets in line with other commercial buildings.
With thanks to our industry partners