Chinese nationals can still buy property in Australia!

In recent times, it’s been tough for Chinese investors to qualify for a mortgage in Australia.

Our largest banks have largely pulled out of lending to foreign investors altogether due to growing concerns about accurately verifying income.

Luckily, there are some non-banks that offer mortgages for chinese investors but the lending policy is tough. Do you qualify?


How much can I borrow?

  • Borrow up to 70% of the property value for loans up to $1 million.
  • Eligible loan amounts and LVRs vary depending on certain Sydney and Melbourne postcodes.
  • If you live in Australia or you’re married to an Australian citizen then you may be able to borrow up to 95%.
  • Our best lender will accept up to 90% of your Chinese Yuan income.
  • You’ll need to provide two forms of income verification such as recent payslips and an employment letter.
  • Foreign business income considered on a case by case basis. Read more below under “What if I’m self-employed?”.
  • We have mortgage brokers that speak Mandarin and Cantonese.
  • Slightly higher interest rates may apply when applying with a specialist lender.
  • We cannot finance construction, vacant land, house and land packages or units under 50sqm.

Many of the lenders that offer mortgages for chinese investors deal with mortgage brokers rather than customers directly.

Lending policies can also be quite confusing. Get approved the first time around by speaking with a specialist broker!

Call us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form today.


How do I get approved?

You need to be of good character

This means that you have a good history of making repayments on other loan facilities such as a credit card or a personal loan.

This includes loan facilities that you’ve held in both China and Australia.

This is a good indication to the bank that you will make your mortgage repayments on time and in full.

Income evidence

For the lenders that offer mortgages for chinese investors, the main concern they have is that your income evidence is authentic.

This is the reason that you need to provide any two of the following:

  • 3 months’ bank statements showing regular salary credits from your employer.
  • 2 payslips.
  • A letter from your employer explaining the nature of employment and how long you’ve worked at the company.

Currency

Australia’s major banks are very weary about accepting Chinese Yuan (CNY) due to the high rates of fraudulent activity from Chinese borrowers.

However, some of the specialist lenders on our panel will accept the Renminbi, typically relying on 60-70% of this income to allow for exchange rate movements.

Our best lender will use up to 90% of your Chinese Yuan Renminbi income.


What if I’m self-employed?

If you earn business income from China it can be tough to qualify for a mortgage but not impossible.

WIth one of our specialist lenders, you may still qualify if you’re able to provide any two of the following:

  • 2 years’ personal and business tax returns or Notices of Assessment.
  • 6 months’ business bank statement.
  • An accountant’s letter to verify your income.

If your statements are in Cantonese or Mandarin, don’t worry. Lenders have credit officers that can translate your statements into English.

It’s best to speak with us to find out if you qualify as a self-employed applicant.

Please complete our free assessment form to speak with one of our experienced brokers.


Can I still buy off the plan?

Unfortunately, we cannot help you to get finance for the purchase of an off the plan property.

Another reason for the banks “turning the screw” on foreign investment lending was because their books were heavily-weighted with Chinese investors.

In particular, there was a high concentration of foreign investors buying inner-city units.

This is the reason that house and land packages and units under 50sqm aren’t an acceptable security for mortgages for Chinese investors.


Which banks stopped lending to chinese investors?

All of them! Well, almost.

  • Commonwealth Bank (CBA) left the foreign investor market way back in 2011/12 but made a further move away from non-resident lending when it pulled lending to temporary visa holders.
  • Westpac and St George, once a big player in lending to Chinese investors, was the next to fall.
  • ANZ received many application from foreigners when Westpac left the market and were forced to change their policies as a result.
  • National Australia Bank (NAB) didn’t pull out completely but their policy is so restrictive that most Chinese investors can’t qualify.

Second-tier banks like Suncorp, Bankwest, ING and ME Bank haven’t lent to foreign investors for some time.

However, apart from Westpac and St George, a big blow to mortgages for Chinese investors was the tightening of Citibank’s acceptable currency policy.

The likes of the US Dollar, the Great British Pound (GBP) and the Euro are still acceptable but the Chinese Yuan is no longer accepted.

The only non-banks left are a couple of specialist lenders.

One of them only just rejoined the market after completely pulling its non-resident policy back in May 2016.


Why did they stop?

Initially, and as far back as 2-3 years ago, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) expressed concern about how Australian lenders were heavily-weighted in lending to foreign investors.

They saw this as a major driver of unsustainable growth in the Australian real estate market.

However, what really broke the camel’s back was the large number of money laundering schemes identified.

Fraudulent bank statements, payslips and tax returns were being supplied to banks in order to qualify for these home loans.

Ever since, solicitors, real estate agents and banks have become extra vigilant in identifying fraud.


Do I have to pay a higher interest rate with a non-bank?

Since there are only a couple of lenders that can help Chinese investors, they tend to charge a slightly higher interest rate than the rate available to Australian citizens.

However, basic and professional loan packages are still available to you.


Do I need government approval?

When buying a property as a foreign national, you need to seek approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).


Speak to a mortgage broker

Mortgages for Chinese investors are still available but you have to meet strict criteria and provide the right supporting documents when the banks ask for it.

A mortgage broker can properly assess your situation and collect the documents they need to submit your application.

Call us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form to discover how you can qualify for a home loan as a Chinese national.

  • Jennifer A

    Hi, I’m a Chinese citizen here in Australia on a work visa and I want to know if we are eligible for first home benefits.

  • Hi Jennifer,

    Unfortunately, temporary residents can’t qualify for the first home owners grant and other government benefits such as welfare and Medicare (public health cover). However, if you’re on a spouse visa / partner visa and are buying with your spouse who’s either an Australian citizen or permanent resident then you can qualify for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG).

  • zoll

    Can I get a professional package on any amount I borrow or will there be restrictions or something?

  • Hey zoll,

    Professional Packages commonly cater to people who are borrowing a larger amount of money, usually over $250,000. If you’d like to find out more about this, you can check out the professional package page:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/home-loan-types/professionalpackages/

  • Grinnell

    My fiance is Australian and we would like to get a home loan in Australia. How do we need to prove our income?

  • As your fiance is Australian, lenders would consider this to be an Aussie expat home loan meaning that you can borrow up to 95% of the property value. If your payslips or foreign tax returns are in English then these can be provided as evidence of your income. Several of our lenders have specialist non-resident departments with staff that understand most common languages, so even if your documents require translation this isn’t normally a problem.

    A valid work visa is required by several lenders as part of their verification process. This is waived if you are a dual citizen or can provided other evidence that you are permitted to work in that country.

  • Grinnell

    Okay thanks. We will contact you when ready.

  • Frances

    Hi, I am Aussie but working and living in Honk Kong. I can get the same rates as Aussies down under, right? What about the double taxation agreement between Australia and China? How can that affect my application?

  • Hi there,

    Yes, because you’re an Aussie citizen, you can get the same rates as a resident here, however, be careful as some lenders may assess you as a foreigner. Although there exists a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) between Australia and China, it doesn’t extend to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region so it shouldn’t affect you as long as your income sources are in Hong Kong. Please check out the home loans for expats in Hong Kong page for more info:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/australian-expat-home-loans/expat-mortgage-hong-kong/

  • yktse

    Hello,
    I am from Hong Kong and paid 10% deposit to purchase a property in Melbourne. The construction will be finished in Q4 2018.
    1.May I know when should I start to do the mortgage application?
    2.Which banks can offer mortgage service to hongkonger?
    3.What is the difference if I borrow AUD or HK$ for mortgage?
    4.What is the interest rate in general?
    5.Any limitation for the property size for mortgage? I purchased is a one bedroom property with size 42sqm+6sqm(balcony).

    Many thanks!
    T

  • Hi T
    1. You should start the mortgage application 3 months prior to settlement. Keep checking with your agent / solicitor as the settlement date may change.
    2. There are a few banks that can help, most will lend 60% to 70% of the property value. There may be more or less banks available in late 2018 so it’s best to assess your options at that time.
    3. AUD has a lower risk and you can borrow more. HKD is a lower rate and there is a risk of currencies moving which causes the bank to request you to put up more security or sell your property. Few banks offer foreign currency loans, they aren’t very popular due to the risk.
    4. 4.8% – 8%
    5. Unfortunately this is unacceptable to most lenders. If it has a car space then some lenders will include that (approx 16m2) in the size which would get it over the minimum 50m2 required by most lenders. You may find that you are unable to get a loan because of the size of the unit. It is hard to say as new lenders may come into the market in the next 18 months.

  • Shu C

    My daughter is Australian PR holder earning $70000. I am Chinese and living in China. I earn $220,000 converted and mostly commissions. My pay documents are in Mandarin. Can you help with a mortgage to buy a house with a joint name?

  • Hi Shu,
    Yes, we can help you find lenders that may be willing to lend. We will need to get your payslips translated and then go with a lender that can be more flexible in accepting commision income. Please call our overseas number +61 2 9194 1700 or have your daughter call 1300 889 743 to discuss with a home loan specialist.

  • Brewster

    I’m an Australian citizen but I have moved to China and am married to a Chinese national. We want to buy a house in Australia and rent it out before we get back and move into it in a few years or so. We both earn in Chinese Yuan Renminbi so how likely is it that we can get approved for an 80% home loan?

  • Hey Brewster,

    As long as you can provide a 20% deposit and prove your income, it’s very likely that we can help you to borrow up to 80% of the property value. If you have a family member in Australia that owns a property then we can even consider a guarantor loan, meaning you can borrow more and may even get discounted interest rates. Please call our office if you’d like to discuss this with an expert overseas mortgage specialist.

  • Mya

    Hi, both my husband and I hold PR visa. He has a full time job in VIC and I do some casual jobs here too. I also have a job in China. So my questions is:
    Can we apply for an 80% mortgage loan with our Australian income as well income in China, cause our income in Australia alone may not be enough.
    Thank you!

  • Hi Mya,
    Yes we can use income from China however the verification of the Chinese income will be extensive. The reason for this is that in February 2016 there was several large syndicates producing fake income documents that were found in China. We need to provide bank statements, an employment contract, payslips, an employment letter and complete a verbal employment verification to proceed.
    We also need to explain how you are living in Australia and working in China as well. We have many expat clients who work in multiple countries so this isn’t a problem, we just need to provide evidence.
    I’ll email you and cc one of our mortgage brokers who speaks Mandarin and specialises in foreign income loans.