Home Loan For Australian Expats In Singapore

How much can I borrow?

  • Australian citizens and permanent resident (PR) visa holders living in Singapore may be able to borrow up to 90% of the property value.
  • Get the same interest rates as an Australian citizen.
  • Some lenders will use the tax rate of Singapore, as opposed to Australian tax rates, which can greatly improve your borrowing power.
  • Loans available for purchase, refinance, investment property or to buy a house and land package.

Will I get approved?

  • If you’re a dual citizenship holder or you’re married to a foreign national, some lenders may unfairly treat you as a foreigner so choosing a lender that favours expats is essential to borrowing at the maximum Loan to Value Ratio (LVR).
  • If you’re earning Singapore Dollars (SGD) but you can’t provide sufficient documents to prove your foreign income, such as recent payslips, or tax returns, then you may be limited to borrowing up to 80% of the property value.
  • A Power Of Attorney (POA) in the name of a solicitor or family member is required by some banks.
  • Singapore has a private school system so lenders will include any school fees as a living expense when assessing your loan application.

Call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or complete our easy free online assessment form to speak with one of our mortgage brokers who can help you get approved with the right lender.

Singapore income mortgage calculator

Discover if the bank will accept your foreign income.

Disclaimer: This calculator has several assumptions and simplifications and so should be used as a guide only. Please seek independent financial advice and consider your own circumstances before making any decisions related to home loans.

What do the banks think of Singapore dollars?

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.

Not all lenders will accept 100% of your foreign income but we know a few lenders which accept 100% of your SGD income.

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. So, you can expect a spike in this number by now.

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?

Typically, you’ll be required to provide your two most recent payslips and foreign tax returns as proof of your income.

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.

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!

Will the stamp duty surcharge apply to me?

A surcharge on stamp duty and, in some cases, land tax, applies to certain foreigners and visa holders depending on what state you want to purchase your property.

Luckily, Australians expats living in Singapore are exempt from these surcharges even if they’re not in the country at the time of contract exchange.

The rules around this may vary so it’s always best to double with your relevant state revenue office.

In particular, if you’re buying with a partner who is a non-Australian citizen, then you may want to consider just buying in your name.

You might be able to avoid the foreign stamp duty, if you are on the title of the property while still borrowing with a non-Australian partner.

As this is a complicated structure, and very high risk, lenders only accept the borrowers who are in a spousal or de-facto relationship.

You can find the lending criteria and advantages of this loan on One on Title, Two on Loan page.

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.

Case study: Aussie expat in Singapore

The Situation Goals The Solution

Meet Lisa, an Australian citizen living and working in Singapore looking to finance an investment property in Victoria.

She works as a senior marketing manager at a top cloud computing provider earning approximately SGD $150,000 p.a. plus company stocks in the form of a restricted stock unit (RSU).

She had already put down a 10% deposit on an off-the-plan unit and the settlement date was less than a couple of months away.

One of our specialist mortgage brokers first established Lisa’s goals, requirements and objectives.

Her main goals were:

  • Get approved for a $266,000 home loan with a 15-year loan term.
  • Stability of a fixed repayment by fixing the loan and reducing the risk of interest rate increases.
  • Get competitive pricing.

Once all the documents were received, our broker performed a full assessment. The deal was comparatively straightforward.

A couple of suitable expat lenders who used Singaporean tax rates as opposed to Australian tax rates and who were currently offering competitive rates were recommended.

Once the deal was submitted, she got approved for the full loan amount and received a low cost (P&I) investment loan at 3.59% p.a. (2 years fixed) which reverts back to a variable product she opts for.

The home loan also came equipped with a 100% offset account, redraw facility and unlimited extra repayments (most fixed-rate products limit extra repayments to $10,000 only), which meant she had the option to pay off the loan faster.

Apply for a home loan as an Aussie expat!

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 50 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.

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