If you’re an Australian expatriate (expat) living in Hong Kong, you can still take out a home loan to buy property.
Most Australian lenders accept the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) and you may be able to borrow up to 95% of the property value.
On top of that, by choosing the right lender, you can even get the same interest rates and home loan features as an Australian borrower living back home.
How much can I borrow?
You’ll need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident to be considered as an Australian expatriate (expat).
As long as you can meet all standard bank lending criteria, you can borrow up to:
- 80% of the property value: You won’t generally be able to borrow more than this amount if you can’t provide acceptable documents that evidence your foreign income such as tax returns.
- 90% of the property value: Most lender generally require you to show proof that you’re in a strong financial position before lending 90% Loan To Value Ratio (LVR).
Note that some banks may assess you as a foreigner and limit your borrowing to 80% LVR if you’re married to a Hong Kong citizen.
Call 1300 889 743 (+ 61 2 9194 1700 if you’re overseas) to speak with one of our mortgage brokers or complete our free online assessment form and we can help you apply with the right lender so you don’t get assessed as a foreigner.
Are HK Dollars acceptable to Aussie banks?
There are a lot of Australian expats in Hong Kong and Australian banks regularly deal with Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) because of that.
If you earn a living in HKD then it’s highly likely that you can get approved for a home loan.
However, if you earn an income in a currency other than HKD, you may still be able to qualify for a mortgage, although some restrictions may apply such as your borrowing power being limited to 80% of the property value.
You can find the list of the most common currencies we deal with on the Australian Expat Mortgages page.
What documents can I use as proof of my foreign income?
Australian banks and lenders assess the income of Australian expats in Hong Kong just as any other Australian resident.
If you’re borrowing less than 80% LVR, some lenders may accept a letter from your employer as proof of your foreign income.
If you’re borrowing more than 80% LVR, you can generally prove your Hong Kong income by providing:
- A copy of your employment contract.
- Your two most recent payslips.
- Tax returns for the last two years.
What if I’m self employed?
Expats that are business owners or self employed contractors in Hong Kong will not generally be able to provide such evidence as payslips and their most recent tax returns.
Luckily, you can provide an accountant’s verification letter in lieu of tax returns.
If you’re able to provide Hong Kong’s equivalent Business Activity Statements (BAS), it’ll give you a better chance at getting approved. Some Aussie lenders may even accept older tax returns!
Check out the Self Employed Home Loans page for more information.
Note that most lenders will need your financial documents to be in English. You may need an interpreter’s certificate if the documents are in a foreign language.
You can get an interpreter’s certificate from the Australian Consulate, however, our mortgage brokers are also able to organise an authorised translator for your documents.
Do I need to have genuine savings?
Most Australian banks prefer borrowers to have at least 5% in genuine savings.
Typically, genuine savings refers to a deposit you’ve saved in a bank account for 3 to 6 months but there’s a way around this if you’re currently renting in Hong Kong.
Some lenders can accept your rental history as evidence of genuine savings so it’s a good idea to provide your rental statements along with your current debts.
In most cases, the rent that you’re paying as well as your repayment history on your other debts shows that you have the ability to meet your mortgage repayments.
Call 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re overseas) and speak with one of our specialist mortgage brokers or fill in our free assessment form for more information.
Be careful of Australian tax law!
Before you make the decision to buy or invest in Australian property, please speak with your accountant or a professional tax adviser since Australian and international tax law is subject to change.
Under Australian tax law, your foreign income and any capital gains you make will be subject to Australian tax law if you’re classed as a resident of Australia.
Generally speaking, Australian expat that have lived in Hong Kong for more than 2 years will classed as a non-resident for tax purposes by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Isn’t there are Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) between Australia and China?
Although there exists a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) between Australia and China, it doesn’t extend to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
That means the DTA doesn’t apply to Australian expats living and working in Hong Kong or Australian residents with income sources in Hong Kong.
Are there any restrictions on buying property Down Under?
Generally, if you’re a non-resident and not an Australian citizen, you’ll be restricted to buying a new property or vacant land.
Since you’re actually an Australian citizen, you can buy both a new property and vacant land, as well as an established dwelling or even a commercial property!
Will I need approval from the Australian government?
Even if you’re buying with a foreign citizen spouse, an Australian expat won’t require approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to buy or invest in Australian property.
Get the same interest rates and loan features as Australians back home!
Australian expats are essentially Australian citizens and banks take that into consideration when you apply for a home loan.
This essentially means that you’ll be offered the same interest rates and home loan features as as citizens who are Australian residents.
Despite living in Hong Kong, you can get competitive interest rates and access all home loan features including the ability to make extra repayments, professional package discounts, salary crediting, a 100% offset account and more.
Speak with one of our credit specialists by calling 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re overseas) or complete our free online assessment form and find out how we can help you choose the right lender.
How many Australian expats are living in Hong Kong?
The Australian Consulate General has stated that the growing Australian expat community in Hong Kong includes over 80,000 expats, and it may well exceed a hundred thousand right now.
Not only is the Australian expat community strong, there are around 550 Australian companies and 1,000 representative offices of Australian companies based in Hong Kong.
Despite a strong and progressively growing commercial sector, the property growth rate in Hong Kong has been inconsistent.
The Australian residential property market, on the other hand, has been growing more consistently, which is why it’s not uncommon for Australian expats to buy or invest in a property back home.
We specialise in home loans for Australian expats in Hong Kong!
As an Australian living in Hong Kong, find out if you qualify for a home loan!
Our mortgage brokers specialise in helping expats buy property in Australia and, in most cases, our services are completely free.
You can speak with one of our experienced mortgage brokers by calling 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re overseas) or complete our free online assessment form and find out how we can help you.