Why invest in property in Australia?

Investing in Australian property has become popular with overseas investors and Australian expats looking for strong returns and stability.

Stability

Australia’s property market has a proven record of stable prices.

What’s the big difference between Australia and other property markets?

  • Around 70% of Australian households are home owners so there is relatively little speculation.
  • There’s been a consistent under-supply of housing in most capital cities.
  • Australia has responsible lending legislation and prudent economic management via the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), reducing the risk of asset price bubbles.
  • Australia has never had prices fall more than 20% in one year.

Overseas property markets such as Hong Kong or the USA have suffered significant crashes that are completely unheard of in Australia.

Housing prices in volatile economies can drop up to 70% within a few weeks, leaving investors with huge losses.

This is often because of significant speculation from foreign investors or asset price bubbles fueled by debt.

Investors have a smaller impact in Australia as the majority of the housing market is owner occupied.

In fact, during the 2007/09 Global Financial Crisis which saw property prices in the UK and USA fall significantly, Australian property prices actually increased in value.

Consistent growth performance

Australian properties have enjoyed consistent capital growth over the last 100 years, with property prices doubling roughly every 7 to 10 years.

One of the reasons behind the growth is Australia’s chronic housing shortage in many of the major cities.

The population is growing at a rate much faster than dwellings are being constructed.

The main cap on housing prices is in fact affordability.

Prices have largely risen in line with the market’s ability to pay for housing.

It’s easy to invest in Australia

Many countries have very restrictive foreign investment laws or banking regulations that make it difficult to invest.

This isn’t the case in Australia:

  • You don’t need to setup a company in Australia or buy with a citizen.
  • Government approval for foreign investors is simple and inexpensive. Read about the rules below.
  • Specialist mortgage brokers can assist you to obtain finance.
  • There’s strong and effective consumer protection legislation in Australia through the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (NCCP Act)
  • Australia’s legal system is based on the UK system so it’s familiar to many investors.
  • There’s minimal political, social, economic or national security instability in Australia.

Buying property in Australia from countries like China, the UK or USA can be difficult if you don’t have the right information or you don’t have the right professionals on your team.

These professionals include a real estate agent or buyers agent, a solcitor, an accountant and a mortgage broker that specialises in foreigner mortgages.

Complete our free assessment form or call us on 1300 889 743 and one of our mortgage brokers will contact you to let you know if you qualify for a mortgage.

Non-resident lending has changed quite a lot in recent times and can even be impossible if you’re a foreign citizen as opposed to an expat or a temporary resident living in Australia.

Australia is a great place to live

Australia is well known for its diverse international cities and breathtaking natural beauty.

  • Queensland (QLD) is famous for its wonderful beaches and reefs
  • Victoria (VIC) has a stunning coast line stretching to South Australia (SA)
  • The Northern Territory (NT) is renowned for its distinctive outback experience
  • New South Wales (NSW) for the tranquil Blue Mountains, beautiful coast and Sydney

Over the next 50 years it’s expected that the trend of migration to Australia will continue and property prices will rise as a result.

Investors can buy residential or commercial properties?

Stability and growth aren’t just features of residential houses, townhouses and units.

Most commercial properties such as offices, factories and retail outlets have proven themselves to have excellent returns.

Larger foreign investors tend to prefer hotels, pubs, commercial farms and residential and commercial developments.

Do you need help with getting a foreigner mortage?

Thinking of investing in Australia?

Call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or complete our free assessment form to speak to our specialist mortgage brokers.

They can guide you through the application process.


The buying process

Before you begin – budgeting & planning

It’s essential that you research, plan and budget your property purchase in Australia.

You may have a location in mind, but it’s always helpful to speak to a real estate agent who can offer you some local advice that will help you select an affordable area with great returns.

Making sure that you can afford the property is also important. Australian banks won’t lend to you if you can’t prove that you can afford the debt, so you need to have a realistic and affordable budget in place.

Step 1 – Organise your team of professionals

Conveyancer

You’ll need a conveyancer or a solicitor to take care of the legal work for you. Their job is to complete searches on the property, manage the transfer of ownership and review the contract before you sign it.

Keep in mind that your appointed conveyancer must be in the same state as the property you’re buying or at least be licensed to deal with that state.

For Western Australia (WA), they are called settlement agents.

Please view our list of recommended conveyancers if you don’t have one already.

It’s common for a real estate agent to recommend a conveyancer to you but we suggest that you choose one that is likely to be impartial.

Mortgage Broker

A good Australian mortgage broker, with experience in helping non-residents to apply for a mortgage, is an essential member of your team of experts.

The mortgage broker can be anywhere in Australia, they don’t need to see the property you are buying and, for most residential mortgages and loans, their services are free.

If you want to buy a property in Australia, speak to an expert Australian mortgage broker.

We’re specialists in non-resident mortgages, hold an Australian Credit Licence (ACL) and are also a member of both the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) and the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO).

We can finance properties Australia-wide and we regularly work with international borrowers.

We have a panel of nearly 40 lenders to choose from which ensures that you’re getting the best mortgage available.

If you need finance to purchase property in Australia, call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside Australia) or complete our free assessment form to discuss your options.

Accountant (if required)

You don’t need to appoint an accountant but there are a few benefits in having one.

Your accountant can help you structure your financials and save you money on tax because they are on Australian tax legislation.

If you’d like to set up Australian companies or trusts to hold your investment, then you’ll need an accountant.

Your appointed accountant can be located anywhere in Australia.

Buyer’s agent (if required)

A buyers agent is also very useful if you’re located overseas and can’t physically inspect the property you’re buying.

The main job of a buyer’s agent is to source the property and negotiate a great deal on your behalf.

They’ll deal with the real estate agents for you and ensure that the property you’re buying represents a good opportunity.

Your buyer’s agent must be licensed and have some presence in the state that you’re buying a property in.

Keep in mind that a buyer’s agent should give independent and objective advice: they shouldn’t be selling his/her own properties.

Some buyer’s agents will charge a fixed fee, while some other will charge an upfront fee as well as a percentage of the purchase price of the property.

A true buyers agent will not earn any commission from the seller so, if they are, they are working for the seller and not for you!

We can put you in touch with some reputable buyers agents if you need assistance.

Step 2 – Applying for a mortgage

In order to qualify for a mortgage, it’s essential that you obtain a pre-approval before you begin looking for properties.

However, the lending criteria for non-residents can be very complex and, for foreign investors at least, there are less than a handful of lenders who are lending in this space.

  • We have published a handy guide which shows the best available Australian interest rates for foreign investors.
  • Ensure that you prepare all necessary loan documents, such as payslips, tax returns and even an employment letter to prove your income.

You can find specific lending guidelines for your situation here:

To ensure that you get approved, speak to us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or complete our free assessment form and one of our brokers will get back to you.

We offer free assistance and can help you with your home loan application.

Step 3 – Get your loan pre-approved

It’s essential for you to get your mortgage pre-approved before you begin looking for a property.

Good properties don’t stay on the market long!

The buyer with a pre-approval usually snaps up the best investments while the others are still putting their mortgage applications together.

More importantly, you know that you’re eligible for a loan and how much you can borrow.

Why waste your time looking for a house or unit only to find out that you can’t get a loan?

Confirm you qualify with the FIRB

If you’re a non-resident or a temporary visa holder, you’re legally required to get permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to buy property in Australia.

Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand (NZ) citizens don’t require FIRB approval.

Getting FIRB approval is a simple process and usually takes up to two weeks from the date the application is lodged.

Fees can vary depending on the value of the residential property or land that you want to purchase:

  • $1 million or less: $5,000
  • $1 million to $1,999,999: $10,000
  • $2 million to $2,999,999: $20,000
  • $3 million or more: $10,000 per every $1 million
  • Agricultural land: You must notify FIRB when purchasing farmland worth $15 million or more so the fees can be substantial.

You won’t actually need to apply for FIRB approval until you’ve found a property.

However, you should investigate their requirements so that you don’t buy an ineligible property for foreign investors.

Step 5 – Find a property

Now is the time to visit Australia and begin your search for a property.

The other option is to use a buyer’s agent (see above).

If you decided not to use a buyer’s agent, then it may be a good idea to use comparable sales to value the property.

Make sure that you compare your properties to other properties that have sold outside of the development so you get a more accurate value.

Often the bank chosen by your mortgage broker will value the property.

The problem is that the banks often don’t tell you if the valuation comes in short!

Our mortgage brokers will always inform you if they become aware that you have overpaid for a property.

Step 6 – Negotiate the purchase price

As a general rule, Australian properties usually sell for up to 10% less than the listed price.

This varies depending on the market, location and type of property.

Properties in popular suburbs sometimes sell for more than the price that they’re advertised!

Some real estate websites will publish the “discounting percentage” for particular suburbs, which is the average percentage below the listing price that a property sells for.

If you’re using a buyer’s agent, they’ll help you to negotiate the price.

You can ask for a contract before signing and ask your solicitor or conveyancer to look at the contract and add any additional conditions if necessary.

A common condition is that the sale is “subject to FIRB approval” which allows you to cancel the contract in the unlikely event that you don’t get approval from the Australian government.

Each state of Australia has their own property laws, use your conveyancer or solicitor’s expertise to help guide you.

If the vendor allows a cooling off period, you can put a holding deposit and sign the contract.

Refer to your conveyancer or solicitor, they’ll let you know what checks you have to do before buying and will let you know when it’s safe to sign the contract to buy the property.

If you’re unable to get a loan during the cooling off period, your maximum penalty is the holding deposit, usually up to $1000.

Again, please check with your conveyancer or solicitor as this can vary across the different states.

If you plan to sign the contract prior to the cooling off period, ensure that the contract of sale includes the clause “subject to FIRB approval”, otherwise you’ll be breaching the law.

Step 7 – Obtain formal mortgage approval

When you’ve found a property to buy, you can then forward the contract of sale to us as your mortgage broker to proceed with the formal approval.

Remember, don’t commit yourself to buy a property until your mortgage is formally approved.

If there’s a cooling off period it’s okay to sign the contract, otherwise don’t sign the contract until you know that you can get a mortgage.

Once you forward the contract of sale to us, we’ll usually obtain the formal approval within a week.

Step 8 – Exchange contracts and pay your deposit

You can exchange your contract after your loan has been formally approved and your solicitor or conveyancer gives you the go ahead.

Normally, you’ll need to put down a 10% deposit.

The amount of the deposit is negotiable and differs between the states.

Note that once you’ve committed to a property, you can’t back out so please seek legal advice before signing any contracts or paying your deposit.

Step 9 – Seek FIRB approval

It’s very important that the contract you’re signing has the clause “subject to FIRB approval” and 30 days must be allowed for a FIRB decision.

At this point, it’s vital to check with your conveyancer or solicitor that the clause is stated in such a way so as to ensure that if your FIRB proposal is rejected, you won’t lose your deposit.

A FIRB application is simple to do and will usually be taken care of by your conveyancer.

You may need to provide a copy of the approval to your lender prior to your loan being advanced.

Step 10 – Final Arrangements

Once you have exchanged the contract, forward a copy of the signed contract to the FIRB for approval.

Your bank would have sent out the loan contract to you after formal approval.

You can ask your mortgage broker to go over it with you, or get help from your conveyancer or solicitor.

You have the right to obtain independent legal advice about your loan contract.

To accept the loan offer, sign the appropriate sections and return the loan documents back to the bank.

Do a final inspection on your property the day of settlement. This can be completed by your buyers agent if you’ve hired one.

Step 11 – Settlement

“Settlement” is the term used when the property actually changes hands and your loan is advanced.

This will be handled by your conveyancer or solicitor in conjunction with your bank and mortgage broker so you don’t need to be there for this to happen.

The title for the property is held by your lender for safe keeping and the keys are available for pick up from the selling real estate agent.


FAQ

What are the costs of buying a property?

As a general rule, you should allow roughly 5% of the purchase price for various expenses associated with purchasing a property.

Expenses:

  • Legal fees – Often $800 to $2,000.
  • Loan establishment fees – Usually $0 to $895 depending on the lender.
  • Stamp duty (state government taxes, often this is the largest expense) – Please refer to our Stamp Duty calculator
  • Additional stamp duty – Please see the foreign citizen stamp duty page for more information about changes made to stamp duty and land tax for foreign buyers buying in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. These changes aren’t taken into account by our calculator.
  • FIRB approval fees – Varies depending on the value of your property and if you are a temporary resident or foreign citizen investor with no visa to Australia.
  • Property inspection fees – normally up to $800 in total for a building, pest and strata inspection.
  • Buyers agents fee – Varies depending on the nature of the services provided.
  • Other minor costs – Building insurance, council rates, water rates, adjustments, etc.

Refer to your conveyancer or solicitor for an exact breakdown of the costs associated with your real estate purchase.

Why was the stamp duty levy introduced?

When introducing the foreigner stamp duty levy, the Victorian, New South Wales and Queensland governments said that it was only fair that foreign investors pay their fair share to fund government services and infrasture.

Luckily, the levy only applies to NSW, Vic and QLD.

You can avoid the extra stamp duty by either buying in another state, purchasing as joint tenants with an Australian citizen or simply waiting until you become a permanent resident.

What other rules and taxes apply to foreign buyers

Since the stamp duty levy was introduced in 2016, the Government has worked to put pressure on foreign ownership of Australian real estate.

Below are changes to foreign property ownership that the Government proposed in the Federal Budget 2017.

CGT exmption scrapped

Since 1 July 2016, foreign investors were subject to a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) (withholding tax) of 10% when they sold their own residential home. However, this only applied to properties worth $2 million or more.

From 1 July 2017. this threshold reduced to $750,000 and the withhold tax rate increased to 12.5%.

This change will affect many foreign investors buying in Sydney and Melbourne metro areas since the median house price is much higher than $750,000.

Restriction on new developments

The Government placed a 50% cap on foreign ownership of new developments.

Ghost tax

The so-called ghost tax is a minimum $5,000 per year levy for property they either faily to occupy or lease out for at least 6 months of the year.

How do I manage the property?

If you’re buying the property as an investment and are intending to rent out your property, you have two options.

You can either manage the property yourself, or you can use a property manager.

Professional managing agents will look after every aspect of your tenancy.

Their job includes collecting the rent, maintaining financial records, conducting regular property inspections, handling any disputes and arranging all repairs that need to be done.

Most property managers charge a percentage of the weekly rent as management fee, usually around 5-10%, although this is negotiable.

You should also expect to pay additional one off fees when they find a new tenant.

Last but not least, please make sure that the managing agent you are interested in using is licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (or state equivalent) before you enter into any formal agreement.

Their licence will be displayed in their office or on their website.

Do I need to lodge a tax return in Australia?

Yes, you’ll need to lodge a tax return each year in Australia.

This isn’t too difficult to do.

Your property manager should keep all of the records for how much rent you received and which expenses you incurred.

You can have them transfer these details to your Australian accountant who will then prepare your tax return.

Do you need help with a non-resident loan?

Our mortgage brokers specialise in lending to:

Please complete our free assessment form or call us on 1300 889 743 or +61 2 9194 1700 if you’re outside Australia.

  • Raf Orellana

    Hi there.
    I have 2 questions:
    1) What exactly does the FIRB look at when assessing the application?
    2) You mention that “Australia has never had prices fall more than 20% in one year”. Can you tell me when was the last largest drop in prices and by how much?

  • Hi Rafa,

    1. The government monitors foreign investment to ensure that the investment will benefit Australia. In particular, foreign investors are limited to investing in “new” properties so that their investment adds to the existing housing stock in Australia. This is to prevent speculation which has little benefit for the Australian economy and that could result in escalating housing prices. You can refer to the government department website for full detail.

    2. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the recent one was in 2011 (weighted average of prices for established houses in eight major cities) and it was 4.8 per cent from a year earlier. You can refer to their website for full detail.

  • B Lee

    I am from Macau and am self-employed man. I have minority share in one of the popular casinos here. I want to invest in Australia, how much will I be able to borrow from the banks?

  • Hi B Lee,

    Due to the recent restrictions on lending to foreign investors, you can borrow anywhere between 40-70% of the property value. I would recommend you to discuss your situation with one of our mortgage broker to get a better idea.

  • Anna Wu

    My brother just got his 4 years temporary visa, he is still in China, he and his family will arrive in Australia in September; prefer to move to the house they have purchased straightaway. Our question is:
    Can my brother or me (act on his behalf) apply for “An exemption certificate for established dwellings – an auction certificate” now, even he is still in China?

    Thanks

  • Hi Anna,

    You’d have to call the FIRB on 1800 050 377 or +61 2 6216 1111 from overseas to find the answer to this one. I’m not sure and I wouldn’t want to give you the wrong information.

    Please be aware that as a temporary resident he may pay additional stamp duty if he is buying in VIC, QLD or NSW. At this time other states do not have this additional duty. Some possible ways around this are: buy in your name instead, buy an investment property in another state (must be a new property), rent for now and buy when he has PR. Many people just choose to pay the additional stamp duty anyway.

    The visa he is on will determine if he can get approved or not for a mortgage. Typically if he is on a 4 year visa and has a job in Australia we should be able to get him an Australian mortgage.

  • Anna Wu

    Thanks for the prompt and detailed reply.

  • Micky Magaz

    If I own a property with my dad and mom in NZ , can me and my wife go for a house together in Sydney in near future? We both moving to Sydney soon and working there permanently..
    Thanks
    I am NZ citizen and she will have partnership work visa (5 years valid)

  • Hi Micky
    Yes you can buy in Australia and your visa statuses are acceptable for a loan with some lenders.
    We’d need to assess any repayments you make towards the property in NZ to ensure you can afford it. Aside from that it should be no problem.

  • Valerie Cottle

    We wished to purchase a 2nd investment property in the Gold Coast Australia, however Commonwealth Bank informed us that due to policy change since our original purchase 8 yrs ago they do not lend to overseas investors? What banks do?

  • Hi Valerie,
    We have some lenders that can assist. CBA doesn’t lend to foreign investors, most of the major banks are out of that market now. We’d need to know more information to be sure of where you stand:
    – Citizenship e.g. HK Citizen
    – Where you are living e.g. Living in HK
    – If you have a visa for Australia then what visa number e.g. subclass 810
    – Type of income e.g. Employed / Self employed / Investor / Cannot be evidenced
    – Currency of your income e.g. HKD
    Thanks

  • Valerie Cottle

    Thanks for that
    We are New Zealand citizens and currently live in NZ
    NZ and Australia have a special relationship I believe?
    Senior Management role (Salary) for past 19 years
    Paid in NZ $s

  • Hi Valerie,

    Yes we can help with this. Please complete this form https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/ and one of our mortgage brokers will contact you to discuss your options. I expect we can get you a much better interest rate as well.

  • Bryan

    Can solicitor look after me at everything? like FIRB…
    So how do i send money from oversea (I am international student)
    Answer in the most simple way as much as you can please, I am not very familiar with all the terms, i am very appreciate that
    Thanks

  • Hi Bryan,
    Yes your solicitor can help you to apply for FIRB. They will also handle the legal documents to help you to buy a property. They don’t help with the loan or negotiating the price of the property.
    I’m not sure how you can transfer money from overseas as this is not our area of expertise. It would also depend on the country you are from.
    As a student you may find it difficult to get a loan in Australia. You are allowed to work 20 hours per week and usually this is not enough of an income to help.

  • David

    We are international teachers doing research into the possibility of purchasing a house in Australia. I’m a Kiwi and my wife is from the U.K. We are currently working in Thailand. We own a property in NZ that we have a mortgage on and are thinking if in the next few years we might sell up and buy in OZ. We would want to work in Australia maybe in 5 years time. Sound possible? Would you advise looking at a house with the FIRB or an apartment within a Tourist resort which we believe doesn’t need the FIRB?

  • Hi David,

    Yes this is possible. However it would depend on many things. Many of our other clients who are teachers in international schools are paid in USD or a currency other than that of the country that they live in. If you’re in this situation then this is good as Thai Baht (THB) is one currency that only a few banks in Australia accept.

    As an NZ citizen overseas we have several banks that can assist. It may be easier to just buy in your name only or it may be ok to buy in joint names. We’d need your full details to be sure. UK citizens are seen as foreign investors by most banks and aren’t treated as favourably as NZ citizens.

    You’d be able to borrow 70% – 80% of the property value. Potentially more on a case by case basis. NZ Citizens living in NZ or Australia are seen more favourably so if need be you can wait until you move to Aus to buy.

    Buying in a resort isn’t a good idea as banks don’t like resort properties and the combination with living overseas will mean your loan will be declined. Buying a new property is fine, just be careful as some are being sold over the market valuation. We wrote an article about where to avoid which you may find helpful https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/qbe-housing-outlook/

    If you’d like our help then please complete this form and one of our specialist mortgage brokers will call you https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Faraan Shareef

    I am a permanent resident in Australia residing with my family (PR Holders as well).
    My mom and dad want to buy property in Australia (villa, townhouse, new dwelling) but they do not hold any kind of Australian visa. Is this possible? What is the procedure like?
    Thanks

  • Hi Faraan
    Yes this is possible. They will need FIRB approval https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/firb-approval/ which is relatively easy. They can get a loan as a non-resident foreign investor however in most cases the maximum amount they could borrow would be 60% of the property value https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/foreigner-mortgage/
    If you’d like our help to get them approved then you can ask them to complete this short enquiry form https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/
    You could also consider just buying in your name as it’s usually easier.

  • Faraan Shareef

    Thanks for your quick reply.
    I’ll forward the link to them.

    What if they don’t need a loan and have ready cash. Does it change things?

    Moreover, once they own property in Australia, what kind of visa are they eligible for as this will be retirement planning?

    Thanks

  • If they have enough cash to buy a property then the FIRB rules are the same. It should be easy for them to buy as long as they are buying a new property and it is used for investment purposes (i.e. rented out not a holiday home in Australia).
    They may pay additional stamp duty if they are buying in NSW, VIC or QLD https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/foreign-citizen-stamp-duty/
    I’m not sure how owning property in Australia affects their ability to get a visa here. Potentially this visa would work https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/405- but I would recommend calling the Dept of Immigration or speaking to a migration agent.

  • marta

    My husband and I have been in the process to buy a property to live in. We have been living in Sydney since August 2014 and we own a 457 visa (TEMPORARY RESIDENT), but in February we will apply for a 186 visa ( PERMANENT RESIDENT).
    We actually were not aware of the not resident surcharges and we were going to sign our contract in two weeks time.

    What I would like to ask you is:
    -which are all the tax that a foreign investor has to pay?
    -With a 457 visa could not we have already been considered as residents?
    -If no, is there any possibility to have a refund of these taxes as soon as we become permanent residents?
    Thank you for your availability,

  • Hi Marta,
    Thanks for posting.
    – You’d pay 4% extra in NSW. Once your PR is granted you would’t pay this. https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/foreign-citizen-stamp-duty/
    – As a 457 visa holder you would still need to pay it. If I made the rule it would be different but unfortunately the government has set it up this way.
    – Not that I am aware of.

    If you like call us on 1300 889 743 and we can assist with your home loan. We’re experts in both temp residents and PR holders. If you PR is not too far away I’d just wait until you get PR.

  • marta

    Thanks for your reply,
    I would have to pay the 4% extra and also the approval fee from the FIRB?

  • That’s correct. The FIRB fee would be $5,000.

    Best to wait! As much as Australia needs new new schools and hospitals it’s better that you save your money,

  • marta

    thank you very much for your advise.
    we’ll probably wait!

  • De

    hello, i am 35yr old.very informative forum. I would like to ask on the basis of buying home in Australia, will I be eligible for PR in Australia?
    Thanks

  • Hi De,
    If you buy a home in Australia then this would not make you eligible for PR. However you should discuss with immigration as there are some visa types that ‘links to Australia’ are considered such as if you studied here, have family here or own a property here.

  • Gert

    Hi I am a South African that is currently busy with my visas to immigrate to Australia. II would like to know if I could buy a farm and can I get a loan to buy the land or should I pay cash.

  • Hi Gert,
    It would depend on the size of the farm. If it was <2 hectares then this would be easy. <10ha would be possible. Larger properties may not be possible as a non-resident however if you have a visa to come to Australia already approved then we can help you to buy a larger property.
    If you'd like our assistance then please click here https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Stanley Wong

    My wife is Australian, and I am not. If we bought a residential property in Australia to rent out, how would I pay for tax on the rental? Do i need a tax file number? Do I need to file a tax form? Or would we file the rental on my wife’s form? If so, how to illustrate that the property is jointly shared and the rental income likewise is shared?
    Thank you.

  • Hi Stanley,

    If you’re buying the property in VIC, QLD or NSW it’s probably best to just buy it in your wife’s name as otherwise you’d pay additional stamp duty on the 50% of the property that is owned by you https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/foreign-citizen-stamp-duty/
    If you own any part of the property and it is in any state you would also pay approx $5,000 for FIRB approval https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/firb-approval/

    Yes you’d need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) in Australia if you are a part owner of the property. You’d get a tax dedcuction for your loan and rental expenses and so overall the tax you pay on the rent income would likely be low. Yes you’d lodge a tax return each year in Australia. This would be easy as the property manager sends you an end of year statement and you just give this to a tax agent to prepare the return for you.

    So the best course of action is likely to just buy the property in your wife’s name. Keep it simple, avoid the additional taxes and just lodge one tax return.

    We’re experts in lending to Aussie expats https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/australian-expat-mortgage/ & foreign citizens, so contact us if you’d like help with a mortgage https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Maria Thomas

    Hi, i have few questions regarding buying property in Australia.I am a Malaysian.Both my children are studying in Gold coast.
    1.As a foreign student can my son apply for properyy loan with me?
    2.What are the procedures and requirements ?
    3.As a foreigner can we apply for a loan?
    4.Which are the financial institutes finance home loans in Australia?
    5.Can i apply for a home loan from my residing country?
    Thank you.

  • Hi Maria,
    Thanks for posting.
    1. Yes your son can buy a property with you. You would need to buy a new property as an investment due to FIRB rules https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/firb-approval/
    I would recommend calling them to double check as I may be incorrect about this and maybe you are allowed to buy an existing home for him to live in.
    As students are only allowed to work 20 hours per week in Australia we need to use a lender that can use your income as well otherwise they’ll say he cannot afford the loan on his own.
    2. We’d need to get a full application, income evidence and ID from both of you to confirm that you are eligible. Fill this in and someone will contact you https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/
    3. Yes you can. We have a couple of lenders who accept Malayasian citizens with income in Ringgit however there are only a few lenders that can accept your country / currency so the rate will be higher than for an Australian citizen.
    4. Best to contact us and we can assess your situation to work out the best options.
    5. You would need to apply with a lender in Australia. Malaysian banks will not lend for Australian property.

  • Maria Thomas

    Thanks for a very quick answer.Appreciate it very much.
    I am currently working in Singapore snd i am employed as a GP in a Large Medical Group.Will that make a liitle easier to persue loans..?
    By the way any age limit to apply for the loan?
    Usually how many percent loan can i expect??

  • Hi Maria,
    Yes there are age limits for homes but not for investment properties. So you’ll be fine.
    The lower priced lenders require someone to be a citizen of the country that they are earning an income in. To sum it up a Singapore Citizen living in Singapore gets a low rate as Singapore is a preferred currency and they meet more lender guidelines. Whereas a Malaysian citizen in Singapore would not qualify with the lower priced lenders. Each lender has their own country list, currency list and accepts different income evidence, professions and only some accept business owners. It’s really complicated.
    There are discounts for doctors with some of our lenders however these lenders would not accept that you are not a citizen of Singapore.
    I’d estimate the rate to be approx 6.95% – 8.00% and approx 3.5% in setup costs for the loan. You would be able to borrow 60% or 70% of the property value.
    It’s likely that more lenders will enter the non-resident market in the next 12 months so we may be able to refinance later to a lower priced loan.
    If you’d like our help then please complete this form https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Maria Thomas

    Thanks a lot for the information.Will get back and will fill up the form as suggedted.
    Thanks once again..have a great day.

  • No problem la! Have a great day.

  • Jose Lam

    Hi , I have a question , I am a portuguese citizen holding the VISA 188A , is it possible to apply home loan ? thx you

  • Hi Jose
    Yes we can normally help you to borrow 80% of the property value on this visa.

    The main issue is your income as this is a business visa so we need tax returns or an accountants letter to verify your income. Offshore business income can be used in some situations.

    If you purchased an Australian business we can use historical income such as the vendor’s financials and tax returns.

    As this is complex when you have provided all of your focuments to one of our mortgage brokers please ask them to refer your file to Otto our MD.
    Best of luck

  • Fiona

    Hi,

    I am a perm resident of Australia and thinking about buying property here. However, I am a UK citizen and not sure of my future plans. If I bought a property off the plan in Australia next year as an investment property and then say in 3 years time I moved back to the UK what are the implications of this?

    As it is an investment property would I still receive tax deductions if I was working full time in the UK? Just trying to understand if it would be a worthwhile investment opportunity or not. Thank you.

  • Hi Fiona,
    You can buy a property as a PR living in Australia and that wouldn’t be a problem https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/permanent-resident-mortgage/
    You can move overseas once you already own the property however it’s unlikely that you would be able to offset negative gearing benefits https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/investment-loans/what-is-negative-gearing/ against your income in the UK. Any loss on your investment property would likely be carried forward until later when the rent is higher and your property turns a profit and then it can be offset. I’m not an accountant do you’d need to speak to one to be sure about this. Other than that it is fine for you to own an Australian property while living overseas. I wouldn’t see this as a major hurdle especially if you are borrowing 80% or less of the property value as the property is likely to be neutrally geared anyway.
    However if you sign the contract to buy off the plan and then it settles while you are overseas then the criteria to get approved are stricter. If bank policies change between now and then then you may find yourself unable to settle and may lose your deposit. To reduce the risk it’s better that you buy an existing property. https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/property-types/off-the-plan-units/
    If you’d like our help please click here and we’ll complete a full assessment of your situation. https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Jessy

    Hi
    I am an temporary resident (sub class 485). I want to buy a house in australia. We are couple who will apply for permanent residence after 5 months. I want to confirm whether an TR can apply for a loan

  • Hi Jessy,
    Yes you can qualify to borrow 80% of the property value if you are allowed to work in Australia for 12 more months.
    If you’re in QLD, NSW or QLD I’d recommend that you wait until you are a PR as you’ll avoid FIRB approval fees ($5,000) and additional stamp duty. In VIC this additional stamp duty is 7% of the purchase price whereas in NSW and QLD it isn’t that bad.
    We can help with TR and PR loans. Just complete this https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/ and we’ll give you a call to discuss your options

  • Christi Bezeem

    Hello, If my husband and I (both Aust) along with my sister and her husband (Sister is Aust, Husband is UK) buy a house for our father to live in – do we pay the Aust rate for stamp duty or foreign invest rate? The house would be in VIC.

  • Hi Christi
    I believe in most cases you’d pay the higher stamp duty on 25% of the purchase price as 25% is owned by a foreigner. I’d recommend that you call the VIC government to be sure as this is an unusual scenario.
    You may find it easier to buy just in three names (50% sister, 25% you, 25% your husband). We can help with structures like this and keep separate loans so you can keep track of who has paid what. Note that in all cases you are liable for each others portion of the debt. That’s just how aussie banks work!

  • Ariel Lok-Tan

    Can foreigners buy land with conservation covenant? If yes, what are the restrictions, T&C of purchase and loan opportunities?

    Do you have experience which such types of property? Thanks.

  • Hi Ariel,
    If the property is vacant land then you must build a house on the property within 4 years of purchasing to meet FIRB approval requirements https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/firb-approval/
    Conservation covenants vary significantly. If the covenant is relatively minor and the property can still have a house built on it then this is normally ok. If the property cannot have a house built on it or has some other condition that would reduce its marketability then it is unlikely that we can finance it.
    As a foreign investor there are only a few lenders that will allow the purchase of vacant land. Most want to a standard house as security, normally it must be a new property to meet FIRB requirements. If you would like to get approved at a good rate then I would recommend that you avoid buying vacant land.
    The loans you can qualify for vary depending on the property location, your employment type, income currency, your citizenship, your Australian visa status (if any) and many other factors. We need to do a full assessment to get you a quote https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Erin and Shane Farmer

    Hi, my husband and I are both
    Australian living overseas. We want to buy a house to rent out for the next year or so until we move home. What kind of tax implications are we looking at?

  • Hi Erin,
    This is pretty straight forward and a good accountant can do this for you. We recommend Lucentor.com.au who regularly works with overseas customers of ours.

    It’s best you speak to an accountant but just generally as you are not a foreign citizen this is quite simple. You’d pay tax on the net profit of the property (rent income less expenses like interest, repairs and maintenance) or if the property was negatively geared you could carry forward the loss and offset it against some types of future income. You would be foreign residents for tax purposes however I believe this would not have a major impact.

    We’re experts in lending to Australian expats so if you’d like our help then just contact us https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Nima

    Hi, my father and I are planning to buy an apartment in Melbourne. But since he lives and works in Norway we have a couple of questions. Are there any restrictions when it comes to what types of property foreign investors can buy? The plan is that he will be the sole owner of the property, and I will be living there as a tenant and paying rent. Do you see any problems arising from a scenario like this?

  • Hi Nina,
    I’ll assume your father is a Norwegian Citizen earning Norwegian Krone. We can accept this income, we’ll update our currency list on our website shortly https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/foreigner-mortgage/#currency
    He’d need to buy a new property. He’d need FIRB approval which costs $5,000 https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/firb-approval/ and he’d pay additional stamp duty of 7% as the property is in Victoria https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/foreign-citizen-stamp-duty/
    I believe it is fine for you to rent the property as long as you pay market rent.
    It’s easier to buy in your name if you are eligible.

  • Jordi Alonzo

    My father and Mother are foreign. I’m an Australian citizen. They want to buy a property. What happen if the ownership of the house is share between the three of us. Do they require foreign investment approval

  • Hi Jordi
    It’s much better if you can buy in just your name particularly if you are buying in Qld Vic or Nsw as they charge extra stamp duty for foreign citizens.
    If you do buy together you will need FIRB approval and may pay additional costs and get a more expensive loan.

  • Kerry Harkins

    My husband and I both hold Australian passports, but are currently living and working in the U.K. We have a mortgaged property in UK (our main home) and own a rental property in Melbourne, for which we have an Australian mortgage. It has proved a good investment and we would like to purchase another in Melbourne. How much deposit would we need, or can we use our existing equity in either property to fund it? Is it possible for us to get another mortgage for the 2nd investment property?
    Thanks, Kerry

  • AJ

    My wife and I are Canadian citizen and would like to buy another property in NSW as an investment. My wife’s family is living there and would like to be near to them in the future. I would guess we will need FIRB approval before we proceed with this plan. Is there anything else we will need to consider ?

  • Hi Kerry,
    Yes we can help with this. For Australian citizens living in the UK earning GBP we can lend 70% to 95% of the property value depending on your situation.
    Please contact us and one of our mortgage brokers will complete a full assessment and let you know your options https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Hi AJ
    As Canadian citizens living in Canada you can buy a property in NSW however it must be a new property not one that someone has lived in before.
    The NSW government would charge you an additional 4% stamp duty on the purchase price (e.g. $20,000 on a $500,000 house) and the FIRB would charge approx $5,000 for approval. If you’re ok with these extra costs then yes we can assist you to get a loan.
    It’s likely that you can borrow 65% to 70% of the property value depending on which lenders you qualify with. If you’d like to get approved then please contact us and we’ll assess your options https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • AJ

    Thanks for quick reply, but why “must” be new property ? and why we can’t own an existing one ?

  • The Foreign Investment Review Board would only allow you to buy a new property https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/firb-approval/
    If you had a valid visa to move to Australia and were moving into the property right away then you’d be eligible to buy an existing property.

  • Wendy

    Hi there, I and my partner would like to buy an investment in Vic, I’m Australian citizen living in Vic,however, my partner is Singaporean and paid in S$. Currently I have a mortgaged house, and just decreased working hours due to a newborn. Am I eligible for a loan coz big banks won’t approve loan? Or my partner has to be the one buying the new property and pay high stamp duty? Thanks, Wendy

  • Hi Wendy,
    We’d have to look at your situation in full to be sure. Ideally we’d want to put the property in just your name and the loan in both names. This would avoid the additional stamp duty but would still allow both of your incomes to be used. In particular if you can prove that your relationship is genuine this will help, e.g. a partner visa / marriage certificate or something to that effect. Otherwise the bank may think you’re adding a friend to your loan to help you qualify.
    This is a grey area of policy so we usually like to provide additional documents and negotiate with the credit department before we submit an application.
    The good news is that we have a range of lenders available so it’s likely that we can help you to get approved with another lender if a major bank can’t help. Please contact us if you’d like our help https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Sarah

    To: Home loan expert,
    Hi, I am an Australian citizen living overseas, .
    I would like to know if I could buy a house with a mortgage. This is my first time in buying a property in Australia. I would like to know the steps that I need to take to buy a new property.
    Thank You.

  • Hi Sarah,
    You can have a read of this page which has plenty of info https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/australian-expat-home-loans/
    If you’d like our help to get a mortgage then please contact us https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Laf

    Hi. We live in the U.K. My husband is Australian and I’m a U.K. Citizen. Can we buy in Sydney and if so will we have to pay higher rate stamp duty if we buy in joint names? Would it help if I apply for spousal citizenship first?

  • Hi Laf,
    The best way to proceed is to have the property in his name and the loan in just his name or in both names. Some banks will allow this. That way you avoid the extra duty and you avoid FIRB approval fees.
    It isn’t always straight forward because the banks don’t always allow it. So please contact us and we’ll let you know your options https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Laf

    Thanks for your reply. This is good news. It’s early days with our search so will contact you if we need a home loan.

  • Fran Ang

    Hi, I am a Malaysian. I wanted to buy a property in Melbourne cost about AUD500k, so can I get migrate to Australia or get a PR by purchasing this property? And can I buy it without getting any loan?

  • Hi Fran
    Buying a property will not help with getting a visa to Aus.
    Yes you can buy without a loan. If you need a loan please contact us and we can assist.

  • Fran Ang

    thanks for your reply.

  • Alan Yeo

    Hi, I am a Singaporean. I am thinking of leasing a property/properties in Perth long term and subletting them out via Airbnb. Is this possible?

  • Hi Alan
    This would likely be a breach of your tenancy agreement. Please seek your landlords consent before doing this.

  • Kohan

    Up to what LVR will I be allowed to borrow to buy a residential property to live in here on a 890 visa?

  • Hi Kohan,
    You can borrow up to 95% of the property value, the same as Australians living here. Please note that your personal situation and loan requirements will affect your borrowing power so it’s key to apply with the right lender that can be flexible for your particular situation. Please call 1300 889 743 to discuss all this with an expert 890 visa home loan specialist.

  • Michelle Oakley

    My partner and I are English, but looking to buy a property outright in Port Douglas as an investment. How difficult would this be and are there any ‘hidden’ fees?

  • Hi Michelle,
    Buying in QLD, NSW or VIC has additional stamp duty if you are not an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/foreign-citizen-stamp-duty/
    You’d also need to pay for FIRB approval which is $5,000 in most cases https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/firb-approval/
    You could obtain a loan for up to 65% of the property value quite easily as long as you are not self employed. The property must be a new property to obtain FIRB approval.

  • Rhiannon Jones

    My partner, his brother and I are looking to buy a house together. I am an Australian citizen, my partner has PR and his brother has just applied for his 186 (permanent resident) visa. If we were to buy a property, would we need to pay the surcharge as he is not yet a permanent resident? or will he be treated as permanent resident since he has applied (similar to how medicare lets you sign up once you apply for the visa, not wait til it’s approved).

  • Hi Rhiannon
    Yes your partner’s brother would pay the surcharge on the portion of the property owned by him. I assume that’s 1/3 of the property.

  • Suresh

    I am an Indian Citizen and my daughter is at the University of Melbourne – first year of her education. Planning to buy a townhouse for her. Is it possible for me as foreigner to buy one in Australia? If yes, do I need to go with FIRB approval? What are the other legal matters I should be aware of. Please advise

  • Hi Suresh,
    Buying in Victoria as a foreign citizen is very expensive as they charge 7% additional stamp duty https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/foreign-citizen-stamp-duty/
    I’d recommend that you buy in your daughters name when she has permanent residency.
    If the additional tax is not a concern then you can buy in your name but it must be a new property, there is also FIRB approval fees (approx $5,000) and you can get a loan for up to 70% of the property value at approx 8% p.a. More lenders may be available in a years time but right now this is the best available.

  • Suresh

    Thanks for your swift feedback. I would not need a loan as I will doing a outright purchase. Does anything change on account of that? i.e. would the approval FIRB fast ? IS there any limit in the purchase price? Am looking at something around A$ 600-700K. Please advise.

  • Mithila Suryawanshi

    Hi
    I am an Indian citizen holding an Australian PR where as my husband is an Australian. We are looking to buy a property in Perth and were wondering if we can use our funds from NRE account with an Indian Bank

  • Hi Mithila,
    My understanding of the NRE accounts in India is that most of them allow you to transfer the money overseas without too many problems. You’d have to check with your bank to be sure.
    If this is the case then yes you can move the money overseas to Australia and use it as a deposit to buy a property. As a PR + Aus citizen we can help you to get approved https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/permanent-resident-mortgage/
    Note that not all banks consider money in a foreign account to be genuine savings https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/genuine-savings/ so please contact us and we’ll assist you to get approved. You’ll need statements to show that you’ve held the funds in your NRE account for at least 3 months. https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • FIRB approval is fast. There’s no limit on the purchase price. It just has to be a new property. Without a loan it should be quite simple.

  • Madan Mohan

    Hi,

    I am an Indian farmer. Can i buy farming land in Australia after selling my farming land in India? What’s the process and challanges?

    I do not hold any kind of Australian visa. Just want to settle there for farming.

  • Hi Madan,
    Sorry I’m not sure about this as it would involve immigration policies which I am not an expert in. In terms of buying Australian farmland you can read this page for more info https://firb.gov.au/resources/guidance/gn17/
    Also we have a page about financing rural properties https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/property-types/rural-home-loans/

  • Mary Bateson

    Can NZ citizens buy a home in Australia?

  • Hi Mary,
    Yes this can be done. There’s some info on this here https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/new-zealand-citizen-mortgage/
    Would this be a home (i.e. you want to live there) or an investment property?

  • Mary Bateson

    A home. Live & work in Australia.

  • Yes we can assist with this and you’d get the same loans and rates as an Australian citizen.

  • Sha

    Hi,
    I’m on a student visa and would like to buy a residential property in perth. Is it possible to buy a property although I’m not a PR?

  • mbs

    Hi, am a PR holder but haven’t moved permanently to Australia yet. I am planning to move this year but am considering to buy a property now. I have funds available in my Pakistan account and Qatar’s account, where am currently working.
    My plan is to pay 50% of the price as initial deposit and seek a mortgage for the remaining cost, based on my overseas income + possible rental income of the property.
    Whats the best way to go about it?

    Thank you

  • Hi
    Qatari Rial income is only accepted be a few lenders so this would be case by case. I expect because your deposit is large we’ll get you an approval. Please contact us here if you’d like our help with your mortgage https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Tuya Barsuren

    Hi, I am Mongolian. Can I buy a house in Australia without a citizenship?

  • Hi Tuya
    Yes you can however it must be a new property and there are additional taxes involved and the loan will be expensive. Most foreign buyers in Australia are high net worth individuals or have children who have moved to Australia.

  • Andrew Thomas Edmonds

    Hi,

    I’m a UK resident and my partner is Australian. We have just secured a visa for the next couple years to live in the U.K. But plan on moving back to Australia in 3-4 years. We want to begin looking st investing in a propert but are unsure of how mortgages are done from abroad. Also what do we do if we have one UK resident and one Aussie national.

    Thanks

  • Hi Andrew,
    Are you a UK citizen or just a resident of the UK?
    It’s likely you can borrow 70% to 90% of the property value depending on the specifics of your situation. If you’re buying in NSW, QLD or VIC there is additional stamp duty for foreign citizens so it’s best to buy in your partners name only and to potentially have the loan in both names.
    If you’re serious about buying then please contact us and we’ll complete an assessment from you. We’d need all of your documents such as payslips, identification and evidence of your deposit to do this https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Angel Ng

    Hi, I am a PR of Australia and my partner is waiting for approval of his PR. I just moved back to Hong Kong for work and plan to return to Australia in a few years’ time. Can I do mortgage with my job in Hong Kong to purchase a townhouse (either off the plan or established) in Melbourne? How much can I borrow and must I borrow with Australian banks only? Will there be any problem with the mortgage bank when I move back to Melbourne?
    Thanks.

  • Hi Angel,
    As an Australian PR living in HK earning HKD you can buy a property in Melbourne and borrow approx 70% to 90% of the property value depending on your situation. If possible it would be best to buy on your own as this avoids complications with the loan and additional taxes from the VIC government.
    When you move to Melbourne you can call your bank and ask them to switch the loan from an investment loan to a home loan (assuming you’re living in it) in which case they’ll give you a rate discount. There’s no problems with moving later, it won’t cause problems with the loan.

  • Dave Ramsay

    Hi

    We are Australian Citizens currently residing in Timor-Leste, so non resident for tax purposes in Australia, I am paid in Australian dollars into an Australian Bank account, my wife is paid in US dollars locally. A broker in Perth has told us that we cannot buy there (while we still live in Timor) with anything less than 25% deposit due to law changes in September last year. Is this correct? Dave

  • Hi Dave,
    We haven’t dealt with anyone in Timor-Leste before so we’d need to do a full scenario to check. However given you are both Australian citizens and earning major currencies I expect you can borrow 80% without any problems and 90% would be a maybe.
    Note that it will be easier if you are buying a home in Australia and harder if you are buying an investment property as lenders aren’t looking at investors in a favourable way right now.
    If you’d like our help we’d need all of your documents and information to confirm your eligibility. You can contact our broker team here https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Hassan

    Hi, I am not an Australian citizen or PR. But I am living in Australia and my temporary visa will be expired around two years later. During that time I am able to get further temporary visa or PR. So, if I pay around 20% to 30% as a deposit with FIRB approval, is it possible to get a home loan ? Many thanks, HS.

  • Hi Hassan
    Yes we can help you to borrow 80% of the property value on your current visa. There’s a long time until expiry and you are permitted to work in Australia on a 485 visa so this is fine. You can contact us here for assistance https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/