Many Australian expats in Singapore invest in property back home in Australia.
In recent years, there’s been a growing number of Australian expats in Singapore who have been investing in Australian real estate.
Here’s what you need to know about applying for a home loan in Australia if you’re an Australian living in Singapore.
How much can I borrow?
Australian expats in Singapore can borrow up to:
- 80% of the property value: You’ll be limited to borrowing up to 80% Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) if you can’t provide acceptable documents to prove your foreign income.
- 90% of the property value: If you’re in a strong financial position then you may be allowed to borrow up to 90% LVR.
Call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or complete our easy free online assessment form today to speak with one of our mortgage brokers.
Will the bank accept my income?
If you’re earning an income in Singapore dollars (SGD), there’s a good chance that we can help you get approved for a mortgage in Australia.
Singapore is a thriving regional business hub so it’s common for Australian expats to be working for large multinationals that may not originally be from Singapore and pay salaries in different currencies.
Many Australians living in Singapore may be earning an income in US dollars (USD), Great Britain Pounds Sterling (GBP) or even Euros.
Other types of currency may be accepted on a case by case basis so check out the Australian expat mortgage page for more information.
In 2012 alone, there were over 20,000 Australians living and working in Singapore.
Do lenders charge a higher interest rate?
Unless you can’t provide sufficient evidence of your income, Australians living in Singapore won’t need to pay a higher interest rate to get a home loan.
You can even get the same interest rates as an Australian citizen living back home!
A few lenders may not offer you the same interest rate discounts as people residing in Australia but we can often negotiate a significant interest rate discount that’s below the Bank Standard Variable Rate (BSVR).
Do I need a large deposit?
Most lenders require non-resident borrowers to provide at least a 5% deposit, plus enough funds to pay for additional settlement fees including stamp duty and the costs of a solicitor.
This deposit must be provided in the form of genuine savings (a deposit you’ve saved by yourself over a period of 3 months) or your mortgage application may be declined.
Luckily, we’re specialists in getting home loan approvals for Australian expats living in Singapore and we know which lenders offer no genuine savings solutions.
For example, if you already own property in Australia, you can access equity for your deposit.
As another option, if your parents are in a position to do so, you can borrow up to 105% of the purchase price with a guarantor loan. In this way, you won’t need a deposit and you can avoid the cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), a fee charged when borrowing more than 80% of the property value.
Call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re outside Australia) to speak with one of our mortgage brokers today.
What documents will I need to provide?
Although these documents aren’t in English, several lenders have specialist non-resident departments with staff that understand many languages and dialects.
If you work in a country where formal written payslips aren’t normally provided then this may complicate the verification process.
The good news is that one of our lenders will accept a letter from your employer as proof of your income if you’re borrowing less than 80% of the property price.
What is an Australian expat?
Basically, non-resident Australian citizens living overseas are considered as Australian expatriates (expats) and they can apply for Australian mortgages even while living or working overseas.
Australian property investors in Singapore, in particular, are lining up to buy a slice of the real estate growth story Down Under.
Australia’s prosperous economy and world-class infrastructure attract a huge amount of overseas investors, including Australian expats in Singapore.
Am I eligible for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG)?
Did you know Australian expats in Singapore are eligible for the FHOG?
To be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG), you’ll need to be buying property in Australia for the first time. You’ll also need to move into the property for a minimum continuous period of six months within one year after you buy.
Our mortgage brokers are specialists in getting Australian expat mortgages approved!
Complete our free online assessment form or call us directly on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re outside Australia) and we can tell you if you qualify for the FHOG.
Does Singapore and Australia have a Double Taxation Agreement in place?
There is a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) in place between Singapore and Australia, which means that Australian expats living in Singapore won’t be subjected to tax twice.
Basically, any income you earn from your investment property will be taxed in both Australia and Singapore, however, you can claim a tax refund from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) since you’re living in Singapore and the asset is in Australia.
Please keep in mind that since you’re not lodging income tax returns to Australia, you may not be able to claim negative gearing benefits on the property you own.
Disclaimer: The above information shouldn’t be taken as tax advice.
Please speak with your accountant about any property tax considerations before applying for a mortgage as an Australian living in Singapore. You can check the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as well as Singapore’s IRAS for the latest information and advice.
Do I need approval from the Australian government?
Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval won’t be needed even if you’re buying with a non-Australian spouse.
FIRB approval is only required for foreign born non-residents who would like to invest or buy a home in Australia.
What if I’m a permanent resident?
You don’t need FIRB approval if you’re an Australian permanent resident living in Singapore!
Is there anything else I should consider?
Australian expats are often put in a difficult position because of certain lending requirements set by Australian lenders. Common problems that Australian expats living in Singapore face include:
- Banks that ask you for your original payslips, tax returns and other documents prior to loan approval.
- Lenders that don’t have a loan processing system designed to handle foreign addresses or foreign phone numbers which can cause significant delays in the loan approval process.
- Lenders that don’t approve home loans that are above 80% LVR (Loan to Value Ratio).
- Banks that need you to sign a formal loan offer at the nearest Australian Consulate by the lender.
- Lenders that don’t accept Power Of Attorneys (POAs), a legal agreement that allows the attorney or agent to take legal actions on their clients behalf.
Which lender should I choose?
Our mortgage brokers specialise in Australian expat mortgages!
We can help you negotiate a great deal with the right lender who can meet your home loan needs from our panel of almost 40 lenders.
Also, most of our services are free!
Call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re outside Australia) or complete our free online assessment form to get a free assessment today.