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?
- You can borrow up to 70% of the purchase price of a new property in Australia with interest rates around 6.50% to 8.00%.
- You can borrow up to 55% at interest rates below 5.00% if you have a high net worth
- 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.
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.
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.
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.