How much can I borrow?

  • Borrow up to 90% of the property value as an Australian citizen or permanents resident (PR) living in Europe.
  • You can qualify for the same interest rates as an Australian citizen.
  • Some lenders will use the tax rate of the European country you’re residing in, as opposed to Australian tax rates, which can greatly improve your borrowing power.
  • Self-employed borrowers may be able to borrow up to 80% of the property value with one of our lenders and we have at least one that will use 90% of your net income rather than gross income.
  • Loans available for purchase, refinance, investment property or to buy a house and land package.
  • If you’re a dual citizenship holder or you’re married to an EU citizen, some lenders may treat you as a foreigner which means that choosing a lender that favours expats is essential to getting approved.
  • If you’re earning Euro 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.

You can discuss your situation and loan needs with one of our Australian expat home loan specialists by calling us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re overseas) or by completing our free online assessment form today.

Will my currency be accepted?

It’s not uncommon for Australian banks to deal with home loan applications from Australians in Europe.

The most common currencies that the banks deal with include:

As long as you earn a living in Euro, GBP or CHF, Australians in Europe have a good chance of getting approved for an Aussie mortgage.

The following currencies are also accepted but there may be certain restrictions and conditions such as restricting your borrowing power to 80% of the property value:

  • Swedish Krona (SEK).
  • Russian Ruble (RUB).
  • Norwegian Krone (NOK).
  • Turkish Lira (TRY).

If you’re not living in a Eurozone country or you’re earning in a currency other than all of those mentioned above, you may not be able to qualify for a mortgage in Australia. The key, therefore, is to apply with the right lender.

How do lenders assess Australians in Europe?

Lenders treat home loan applications from Australians in Europe just like any other Aussie residing Down Under!

Even if you’re overseas, you can prove your foreign income by simply providing:

Some lenders can even accept a letter from your employer as proof of your income if you’re borrowing 80% LVR or less.

You won’t even need to get an approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to buy or invest in Australian property.

However, your financial documents need to be in English. If they are in a foreign language, lenders may require you to provide an interpreter’s certificate, which you can generally get with the help of the Australian Consulate in your region.

You can also qualify for a home loan with the same interest rate as any other Aussie.

It’s important to note that some banks may not offer you the same interest rate discounts as people living in Australia if they assess you as a foreigner.

However, we can help negotiate a substantial interest rate discount that’s way below the Bank Standard Variable Rate (BSVR).

Australian tax law: what you need to know

Australia has a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with the following European countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom (UK)

The DTA basically protects borrowers from paying their taxes twice. Also, you won’t incur Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on any capital gain you may make when you sell Australian property.

If your country is not in the above list then your foreign income and any capital gains you make are subject to Australian tax law if you’re classed as a tax resident of Australia.

To check if you’re an Australian tax resident, you can take the residency test on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

However, even if you’re not an Australian tax resident, your investment income is still taxable in Australia.

For more information about the tax implications of buying property in Australia, you can check out the ATO website or the website of your country’s department that deals with tax issues.

Note that Australian tax law is complicated and may or may not apply to your situation. Please speak with an accountant or a professional tax advisor before deciding on buying or investing in Australian property.

Will I need to get FIRB approval

If you’re an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident (PR) visa holder, Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) doesn’t apply.

It also doesn’t apply if you’re buying with an EU citizen or another foreign citizen.

This will save you significant fees and charges.

Do I have to pay a stamp duty surcharge?

Several states in Australia have introduced a stamp duty surcharge but this only applies to foreign citizens and not Australians living and working in the Eurozone.

In saying that, Australian permanent residents (PR) or Australian citizens buying with a EU citizen may be hit with the surcharge.

The rules around this may vary so it’s always best to double with your relevant state revenue office. We have more information around this on the foreign citizen stamp duty page.

Get help from an Australian expat specialist

Our mortgage brokers specialise in mortgages for Australians in Europe and other Australian expats.

Choosing the right lender is the key to getting approved for a home loan. Because we have relationships with almost 40 different lenders all over Australia, we can help you find and apply with the right lender for your particular situation and needs.

You can speak with one of our experienced mortgage brokers by calling us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re overseas). You can also complete our free online assessment form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

  • Joey S

    I’m currently living and working in Europe but I want to buy a house in Melbourne with the help of my uncle as guarantor. He as well as the property is overseas so will this be a problem?

  • Hi Joey,

    Lenders generally require guarantors to be Australian residents but there are some lenders that can accept people living overseas. However, the security property must actually be in Australia. You can check out the guarantor home loans page to learn more or call us to find an alternative solution:

  • Cameron

    On the site you mention borrowing in a foreign currency.

    Currently, mortgage interest rates in many parts of Europe are very low, even compared to the record low rates in Australia.

    If one can borrow in EUR, for example, what would be the approximate applicable interest rate?

  • Hi Cameron,

    This is possible however the criteria for a foreign currency loan are so strict that most people don’t qualify. Typically:
    – You must be high net worth (>$2m in assets)
    – You must be borrowing no more than 60% of the property value
    – Only some currencies are accepted. Euro is one of them.
    – Your income must be in the currency that you are borrowing
    – There is a risk of your loan being called in if the exchange rates move significantly
    – You get interest rates that are typically applicable for the currency you are borrowing in (usually lower than AU rates).

    For most people the risk is higher than the reward. This is a niche product that not all of our brokers know about so in your online enquiry please write ‘Refer to Otto’ if you would like a foreign currency loan.

    All of our brokers are trained in normal loans for expat Australians.

  • Marc B

    I was born and raised in Australia but moved to Russia for studying, and now working. I do have an Australian passport but I’m not a tax resident of Australia. Is it possible for me to qualify for a home loan with Australian expat conditions?

  • Yes, you can qualify for an Australian expat home loan because it’s not required for you to be an Australian tax resident. As long as you’re an Australian passport holder, you should be able to qualify for an Australian expat home loan if you can meet all other standard lending criteria.

  • Oho

    Will I need to get an approval from the Foreign Investments Review Board if I’m getting a joint home loan with my spouse who is not Australian?

  • No, Foreign Investment Review Board approval is not required, even if you are buying with a spouse who is not an Australian citizen.

  • Abigail

    I’m a European Australian and I wish to buy a house in Sydney to move in around next year. Would getting this European Australian mortgage be time consuming and difficult? I’m asking because I’m very busy right now and the last thing on my mind is getting back to Australia and then buying the place.

  • Hey Abigail,
    The complexity of this European Australian mortgage application would depend on your personal situation and the property you’d like to buy. If you’re not in an overly complcated situation and the property is fairly standard then it shouldn’t be too difficult. You can call our overseas number +61 2 9194 1700 to speak with one of our expat home loan specialists and get an assessment. Or simply enquire online and we’ll contact you instead: